- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 27, 2007

(AP) - Walt Crowley, a political commentator and prominent citizen historian who co-founded an online encyclopedia of Washington state history, died Sept. 21 of complications of a stroke. He was 60.

In the late 1990s, Mr. Crowley, his wife, Marie McCaffrey, and historian Paul Dorpat rounded up investors and started Historylink.org. Slow to catch on at first, the Web site gained traction after a $100,000 grant from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2002 allowed it to broaden its scope statewide.

Today Historylink.org gets about 4 million hits a month and is considered a model for similar sites across the country.

Born in suburban Detroit, Mr. Crowley lived in the District and Connecticut before his family moved to Seattle in 1961.

He worked as an illustrator at Boeing before enrolling at the University of Washington, where he became active in antiwar and civil-rights movements of the late 1960s. He dropped out in 1967 to work at the Helix, a left-wing weekly paper at the school.

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