Editor who won Pulitzer for Estes scandal dies

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Associated Press

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 28 at 2:06 PM

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Oscar Griffin Jr., whose investigation of swindler Billie Sol Estes won a 1963 Pulitzer Prize for the small Texas newspaper where he worked, has died. He was 78.

Griffin was the editor and main writer at the Pecos Independent and Enterprise in West Texas when he chronicled how Estes, a one-time associate of then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, borrowed money to build fertilizer tanks that were never constructed.

The fraud investigation and Estes' prosecution garnered national attention. Estes went to prison for that and in the 1970s for tax evasion.

The Houston Chronicle hired Griffin after Estes' arrest. He later worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation under Elizabeth Dole.

Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home-Willis spokeswoman Edith Kreger said Monday that Griffin died Nov. 23 in New Waverly.

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