A former political reporter and retired bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News died in a Texas car crash early Monday, authorities said.
Wayne Slater, 74, who also co-authored two books on George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove, was killed in a two-car crash in Williamson County, Texas Department of Public Safety officials told the Morning News.
Slater, of Florence, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was driving a Mazda CX-3 when he swerved into the path of an oncoming Ford F-150 truck, authorities said.
The other driver, who suffered minor injuries, tried to avoid Slater, but was unsuccessful, Sgt. Deon Cockrell told the newspaper.
Slater, who retired from the Dallas Morning News in 2014 after serving as its Austin bureau chief, joined the newspaper in 1985 following a decade as a reporter for the Associated Press.
He also co-authored two books on Rove with James Moore, the 2003 tome “Bush’s Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential” and 2007’s “The Architect: Karl Rove and the Dream of Absolute Power.”
“Wayne Slater was a hard-working and insightful reporter,” the 43rd president told the newspaper in a statement. “He understood Texas politics better than most and contributed a lot to his field. Laura and I send our sympathy to Dianne.”
While at the Morning News, Slater was known for his tough but fair coverage of Bush and his predecessor, Ann Richards, during their tenure as Texas governors.
Following his retirement, Slater served as an adjunct professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on politics and religion, the Morning News reported. He also had many appearances on national media programs, including NBC’s “Meet the Press,” throughout his career.
“Wayne was a whirling dervish of a man,” retired Dallas Morning News reporter Christy Hope told the newspaper. “He brought energy into work, into his writing. He had a great instinct for news. When everyone else was looking straight ahead, Wayne was looking around corners for what couldn’t be seen yet.”
Slater is survived by his wife Dianne, their son Todd and three grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending, the Morning News reported.