Godfrey Sperling Jr., DC journalist who hosted newsmaker breakfasts for decades, dies at 97

Godfrey Sperling Jr., a journalist who hosted weekly newsmaker breakfasts for decades, has died. He was 97.

Sperling's daughter, Mary Sperling McAuliffe, said her father died in his sleep surrounded by family Wednesday at the Knollwood Military Retirement Community. She knew no formal cause of death.

McAuliffe says her father, who was known as "Budge," loved the West, newspapers, sports and politics. She says he also loved to party and had a tremendous ability to get along with people.

Sperling started at the Christian Science Monitor in 1946 and retired in 2005, covering presidential candidates from Harry S. Truman to Bill Clinton.

The Monitor-sponsored "Breakfast With Godfrey" was held for decades at what is now the St. Regis hotel in and attracted many a politician eyeing a presidential run.