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Friday, September 11, 2009

Mike Fowler | Journalist/prosecutor trained reporters around the world


Mike Fowler, a veteran lawyer/journalist who left Miami jobs in both fields to train reporters in Asia and the Middle East, died Aug. 18 in New Hampshire. He was 67.

His wife, journalist Susan Postelwaite, said he suffered complications from routine laparoscopic surgery for gastro-intestinal reflux.

The couple and daughter Kim, 8, were summering at their home in North Sandwich, N.H., when Fowler took sick. They'd planned a return to Kim's native Cambodia, where both Fowler and Postelwaite wrote and taught.

During the 1970s and '80s, the Kansas City native worked in Miami for UPI and the Miami News and taught part time at Florida International University. After graduating from the University of Miami School of Law, he became a prosecutor in then-State Attorney Janet Reno's office.

The two-time Knight Fellow went on to train journalists, write and teach in Egypt, India, Bulgaria and Afghanistan, as well as Cambodia.

``He was really important because during the early to mid-1990s, Cambodia's journalism was very young and we strongly needed training to pass on the skills and knowledge to local journalists,'' Moeun Chhean Narridh, director of the Cambodian Institute for Media Studies, told the English language Cambodia Daily.

Miami political consultant Keith Donner took classes from Fowler in the mid-1980s at FIU's School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

``Mike was this mixture of Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene,'' Donner recalled. ``He was a tall, hulking guy -- about six-foot-five -- with a great wit and tremendous intellect,'' as well as a fondness for cigarettes and Scotch.

``He was the coolest guy in a very cool profession.''

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