Tribute to late REVIEW columnist

Ken Fuson had a gift, one that he shared with millions of readers.

Fuson, a reporter and columnist for four decades, including the last 10 years for The N’West Iowa REVIEW, died on Friday, Jan. 3, as he awaited a liver transplant. He was just 63.

The Granger native claimed state and national honors for his work. He had a graceful style, with an easy flow and could find stories in the weather, high school play tryouts or any other assignment.

His work at The Des Moines Register and The Baltimore Sun drew widespread acclaim and admiration from other journalists. We were proud to have him write for The REVIEW and his “Letters from Des Moines” column as well as his well-considered and artfully written editorials were a major part of our opinion pages for the last decade.

While he was at ease at a keyboard, Fuson struggled with a longtime gambling addiction. He was open about that, and wrote of his demons and how he finally overcame them.

Michael Gartner, a former Des Moines Register editor who won a Pulitzer Prize during his career, offered high praise for Fuson.

“He was one of the half-dozen or so best writers ever to go through The Register newsroom,” Gartner wrote. “Maybe one of the best two or three. Maybe the best.”

Ken Fuson was that kind of writer, and a good man as well. His final deadline came far too soon.