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Former editor at Sun dies at age 91

CARSON CITY — Bryn Armstrong, a witty, award-winning Nevada journalist who had a long newspapering career followed by a second career as a state government executive, died Saturday. He was 91.

Armstrong, who had been in failing health, died at the Evergreen care center in Carson City. A memorial service is planned at a later date.

Armstrong, who was raised in Nevada and attended the University of Nevada, Reno, served in the Army during World War II and started his professional journalism career as a reporter at the Woodland, Calif., Daily Democrat.

He joined the Reno Evening Gazette in 1948, serving as assistant managing editor before moving to the Las Vegas Sun in 1963, where he became executive editor before retiring in 1977.

"I did everything," Armstrong said of his first newspaper job when interviewed in 2006 by Reno Gazette-Journal columnist and longtime friend Sue Morrow. He said he wasn’t sure what his starting pay was, adding, "I think it was $35 a week. I’m not sure. I wasn’t in it for the money."

Armstrong had a sharp memory but never wrote about his years in Las Vegas and mobsters he knew. "I don’t think I want to get killed, so I ain’t telling you stories about mobsters," he told Morrow. "I’m saving that for when the last one dies."

Armstrong was a former president of the Nevada Press Association and a winner of several association awards, including one in 1960 for an 11-part series on a black-market baby ring. In 2004, he was inducted into the NPA’s Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Armstrong was appointed by then-Gov. Mike O’Callaghan as chairman of the first full-time state Parole Board in 1977, and was reappointed to that post by Govs. Robert List, Richard Bryan and Bob Miller. He also served as executive secretary of the Nevada Dairy Commission from 1993 to 1996, retiring after suffering a stroke at the age of 80.

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