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Longtime labor journalist John Moody dies in NJ

John P. Moody, a longtime journalist who won praise for his coverage of organized labor and business issues, died Saturday. He was 95.

Moody died of natural causes in Ridgewood, his son, John Moody, said.

Known among colleagues for his frayed leather pocket notebook, which was crammed with the names and numbers of sources, John P. Moody worked for The Associated Press and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette during his nearly 30-year career. He reported on many of the most important labor industry stories, ranging from coal and steel strikes to the slaying of United Mine Workers presidential candidate Joseph Yablonski in 1969.

Moody also covered part of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's visit to the U.S. in 1959.

A World War II Army veteran, Moody worked for the Cumberland News in his native Maryland after his discharge. He moved to Pittsburgh in 1950 to work for the AP, where he mostly covered organized labor and big business issues.

In 1952, Moody became one of the lead reporters during the 53-day nationwide strike launched by the United Steel Workers of America. That job action followed a Supreme Court ruling that found President Harry Truman lacked the authority to nationalize the steel industry to ensure continued production.

Moody then joined the Post-Gazette in 1968, and quickly moved onto the labor beat, which at the time was dominated by infighting within the United Mine Workers Union.

Its president, W.A. "Tony" Boyle, was being challenged by Yablonski, who believed Boyle wasn't committed to ensuring the safety of miners. Yablonski was killed in 1969 with his wife and daughter at their Clarksville, Pa., home, and Boyle and several others were eventually convicted of or pleaded guilty in the killings.

Besides his son, Moody is survived by his wife of 65 years, Beulah, and two grandchildren.

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