US

Harry Rosenthal, who covered space shots and presidents back to Truman, dies at 86

  • This Oct. 28, 1992 photo shows Associated Press newsman and columnist Harry Rosenthal in Washington. Rosenthal a veteran Associated Press writer who covered America's golden age of space exploration, presidents back to Harry Truman and whatever caught his impish eye in the stuffy halls of power, died Thursday, He was 86.  (AP Photo)

    This Oct. 28, 1992 photo shows Associated Press newsman and columnist Harry Rosenthal in Washington. Rosenthal a veteran Associated Press writer who covered America's golden age of space exploration, presidents back to Harry Truman and whatever caught his impish eye in the stuffy halls of power, died Thursday, He was 86. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • This Nov. 4, 1952 photo shows President Harry Truman smiling as he shakes hands with Associated Press Kansas staffer Harry Rosenthal at trainside in Independence, Mo. as Truman left for Washington after voting. Rosenthal a veteran Associated Press writer who covered America's golden age of space exploration, presidents back to Harry Truman and whatever caught his impish eye in the stuffy halls of power, died Thursday, He was 86. Between them is Milt Freier, United Press photographer, and Charles Gorry , photographer of the AP Washington staff. In extreme background, (over Freier's shoulder) is George Skadding of Life Magazine. (AP Photo/William P. Straeter)

    This Nov. 4, 1952 photo shows President Harry Truman smiling as he shakes hands with Associated Press Kansas staffer Harry Rosenthal at trainside in Independence, Mo. as Truman left for Washington after voting. Rosenthal a veteran Associated Press writer who covered America's golden age of space exploration, presidents back to Harry Truman and whatever caught his impish eye in the stuffy halls of power, died Thursday, He was 86. Between them is Milt Freier, United Press photographer, and Charles Gorry , photographer of the AP Washington staff. In extreme background, (over Freier's shoulder) is George Skadding of Life Magazine. (AP Photo/William P. Straeter)  (The Associated Press)

  • This 1968 photo shows Associated Press writer Harry Rosenthal. Rosenthal a veteran Associated Press writer who covered America's golden age of space exploration, presidents back to Harry Truman and whatever caught his impish eye in the stuffy halls of power, died Thursday, He was 86. (AP Photo)

    This 1968 photo shows Associated Press writer Harry Rosenthal. Rosenthal a veteran Associated Press writer who covered America's golden age of space exploration, presidents back to Harry Truman and whatever caught his impish eye in the stuffy halls of power, died Thursday, He was 86. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

Harry F. Rosenthal, an Associated Press writer who covered America's golden age of space exploration, presidents back to Harry Truman and whatever caught his impish eye in the stuffy halls of power, has died. He was 86.

He died Thursday at home in Kansas City, Mo., says his daughter, Lesli Mulligan.

Rosenthal strolled with Truman in Missouri as the retired president reflected on his decision to drop the atomic bomb. He covered Richard Nixon in his downfall and presidents through to Bill Clinton before retiring in 1997.

Rosenthal was known as a wordsmith who sweated the details and turned them into irresistible prose.

"Writing bugs me," he said, "but it's the only way I like to make a living."