Biographical Information:

Dates: 1925-2008Dates in Ridgefield: 1977-2008
fiction, mysteries, journalism, nonfictionjournalist, Overseas Press Club Award recipient
Few people saw the world as Hugh Mulligan did. Celebrated for his sense of humor, seamless writing and meticulous research, he drank with John Steinbeck, covered the deaths of three popes and President Kennedy, was the only reporter -- British or American -- at both the wedding and the funeral of Princess Diana, and was dining with Salvador Dali when the artist was booted from a restaurant because his ocelot defecated on the floor. He covered both the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, accompanied Pope John Paul II on 26 journeys, went to the North Pole in a Navy blimp, and rode an 18-wheeler up the Alcan Highway in the middle of winter. He had thousands of stories to tell of his half century as an Associated Press reporter, covering everything from wars to weddings, in 146 countries. A favorite anecdote concerned Steinbeck, with whom Mr. Mulligan had tried for weeks to get an interview at the author's Long Island home. Mr. M,, ulligan gave up when he had to go to Vietnam. Three weeks later, Mr. Steinbeck checked into the same Vietnamese hotel where Mulligan was staying. When the author, whose wife was trying to wean him off alcohol, discovered Mulligan had liquor, he started visiting the reporter's room every night. "I finally had to tell him, 'Steinbeck, for three months I couldn't get an interview with you and now I can't get you out of my room!' " Mr. Mulligan received many awards, but his most prized was the 1967 Overseas Press Club Award for his coverage of the Vietnam War (about which he wrote one of his three books, No Place to Die: The Agony of Vietnam). A native of New York, Mr. Mulligan was a summa cum laude graduate of Marlboro College in Vermont and earned a master's in English from Harvard and one in journalism from Boston University, both awarded in the same week without either school knowing he was also attending the other.
Titles:No Place to Die: The Agony of Vietnam, 1967A Christmas to Forget at 221B, 2002Been Everywhere, Got Nowhere, 2005
--Sources: Notable Ridgefielders–Jack Sanders; Boston Globe obit Dec. 5, 2008; Associated Press obit; Danbury Press obit;