PORTLAND -- Bob Caldwell, the long-time editor of the Oregonian editorial pages, died March 10 in the apartment of a 23-year-old woman after going into cardiac arrest following a sex act, according to the paper. The Oregonian initially reported that Caldwell was found in his parked car.
On March 13, the paper later corrected their initial report, saying the woman was the one who called 9-1-1 on Saturday to report that Caldwell was unresponsive.
According to an updated report published in The Oregonian, the woman told deputies she met Caldwell a year ago at Portland Community College and he provided cash for books and other school expenses, in exchange for sex. According to deputies quoted by the paper, no money was exchanged Saturday and therefore no prostitution charges would be filed.
Editor Peter Bhatia explained the Oregonian's decision to publish the details of Caldwell's death in a March 16 blog post, in which he wrote that the paper's top editors "were unanimous in our conviction that we had to print the full story of our colleague’s death, especially after reporting it incorrectly in that morning’s paper."
In the blog post, Bhatia also stated that the erroneous initial report of the circumstances of Caldwell's death came from a family friend who was also an Oregonian employee. Bhatia said Kathleen Glanville "admitted lying," adding "You can attribute it to the fog of grief, a sleepless night or the loss of a dear friend. But, while we are used to sources lying to us, it is difficult to swallow when the source is a fellow Oregonian journalist." Bhatia wrote that there would be "repercussions" but that the paper would not discuss personnel issues. Glanville posted on her own Facebook page that she had been fired.
On March 21, the Willamette Week newspaper reported that the 23-year-old woman previously characterized as a college student was a "full-time call girl" who had advertised her prostitution services online for three years, charging up to $200 per hour for her services. The Willamette Week story also stated that Glanville did more than lie about the circumstances of Caldwell's death; the article says Glanville drove to the woman's apartment and moved Caldwell's car from the scene. More: Read Willamette Week report
Caldwell joined The Oregonian as a copy editor in 1983. Before taking his post at the head of the editorial section, he worked as a regional, metro and public editor for The Oregonian. He led the paper's editorial board since November 1995.
Caldwell, who was 63 years old, is survived by his wife and three daughters.
Caldwell's widow, Lora Cuykendall, posted a Facebook update in which she wrote that her husband "would have understood why The Oregonian needed to print the story" about the circumstances of his death and he would have "regretted the anguish that it caused to those he loves -- both outside and inside of the newspaper."
She said he was a "kind, loving and fair man" and "we love him unconditionally."