Ward Just, 84, Dies; Ex-Journalist Found Larger Truths in Fiction

When Mr. Bradlee became managing editor of The Washington Post at 1965, he coached Mr. Only. From Christmas of 1965, Mr. was on his way into Saigon.

Apart from the Vietnam War, Mr. Only insured the presidential race 1968, reporting the attempts of Senator Eugene J. McCarthy of Minnesota, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination as an antiwar candidate, and Richard M. Nixon, the Republican nominee, who appeared triumphant. He also reported from Latin America and Europe.

At the 2017 interview, Mr. Only stated he’d remained in the paper business”for approximately a year as long.” Those last months were spent writing editorials for The Washington Post. “I felt ridiculous commenting on information rather than digging it out,” he explained.

Mr. Just’s first two marriages ended in divorce. He’s survived by his wife, Sarah Catchpole, with whom he dwelt in Vineyard Haven, on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.; his daughter Julie, a former editor at The New York Times, along with another girl, Jennifer Only, both by his first marriage, to Jean Ramsay; a kid, Ian, by his second marriage, to Anne Burling; along with six grandchildren. Mr. Just’s sister, Joy Steiner, expired several years back.

Before going to Martha’s Vineyard, Mr. Only lived for some while in rural Vermont while setting himself as a novelist. His first publication,”A Soldier of the Revolution,” printed in 1970, is set in an unnamed Latin American country where a former monk is contested by antigovernment guerrillas and discovers he believes in their origin.

To judge from his own words, Mr. Only turned to fiction since, ironically, he had been looking for some bigger truth. Looking back in his reporting career in a 1973 profile at The Washington Posthe said,”Facts do not lead you very much, facts do not direct you to the fact, they simply result in more facts”

Decades to his book writing, Mr. was toiling on manual typewriters (he had a selection of a dozen or so) since he explained, he did not wish to take some time off from writing to learn the computer.

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