It has been a sad period for organized aficionados. First, the venerable Dick Frontain left this world, and now, we receive the news that the highly respected aficionado and journalist Dan Cook has departed.
Bullfight World does not normally publish obituaries, but in the particular case of Dan Cook, we must make an exception.
Dan died peacefully of complications from pneumonia, following a long and courageous battle with cancer, thus ending a life filled with many adventures, challenges and professional successes.
Dan was born in 1942 in Cincinnati, Ohio, son of the late George and Evelyn Cook, and is survived by three sisters, Melissa Bell, Donna Crawley, Martina Brown and husband Bradley, all of Indianapolis, as well as several nieces and nephews. Dan moved to Indiana at an early age and attended Shortridge High School, where he became an Eagle Scout.
Former Bureau Chief for the Los Gatos Daily News, Dan’s journalistic career began as a staff reporter at Ball State University, and after his transfer to Stanford, where he graduated in 1969 with a degree in Political Science and International Relations, he continued as News and PR Director for KZSU.
Over the next 30 years, Dan moved from editing the daily newspaper in San Mateo through editorial positions with a number of magazines and newspapers.
Dan held a private pilots license for over 30 years, and spent several years as Editor of Air Safety Week, the premier weekly, covering aviation safety issues, regulatory affairs, aviation law, and aerospace technology. He received the Aviation Space Writers Associations premier Award of Excellence for General Aviation, and the Flight Safety Foundation’s Cecil A. Brownlow award for outstanding contributions to international aviation safety awareness.
Dan reported on aviation issues from such far flung points as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, and Madrid, among others.
Following Air Safety Week, Dan spent time at McGraw-Hill then became Editor-in-Chief for a new monthly magazine, Military Aerospace Technology. He left this position to return to California, following his first bout with lung cancer.
Notwithstanding his love for journalism and all things aviation related, Dan’s overriding life passion was as a taurine aficionado, dedicated to the Fiesta de San Fermin at Pamplona, where he ran with the bulls for more than 20 years, and was a well known figure at the Fiesta and in taurine circles. To the end, Dan was usually dressed in his “Pamplona Whites” wearing a red pañuelo, or one of his personally designed t-shirts, no matter what the season or weather.
Dan wrote many articles and stories about his experiences, all of which contributed to the rich tapestry of his life, which included a stint as a Chief Investigator in the U.S House of Representatives, and a period as aide to the late Congressman Leo Ryan, who lost his life in Guyana in 1978.
Dan was a member of American Legion West Valley Memory Post 99 in Campbell, California where he lived for the past five years.
He will be missed by his friends in the taurine world and the journalistic profession, by the Pamplona Gang, and friends locally, particularly special friends, Lee Terry, Michelle Maghribi, George Prebil and Dan Matthews, who were there for him, as he fought his last fight.
According to his wishes, Dan’s ashes will be spread at Pamplona during the San Fermines Fiesta in July 2008. A celebration of his life is planned for 2pm, Sunday December 9th, at American Legion West Valley Memory Post 99,1344 Dell Avenue, Campbell, CA. 95008 Cremation by Chapel of Flowers, San Jose.