- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Michael McConnell Rust, a magazine and newspaper reporter, died May 20 at his Northwest home at age 41. Results of an autopsy performed yesterday are pending, according to the Office of the Medical Examiner.
Between 1992 and 2001 and since last summer through this past January, Mr. Rust was employed as a reporter at Insight Magazine, a publication of The Washington Times.
"An extraordinarily talented newsman with near perfect and total recall, he was generally a better political observer and analyst than the so-called 'professionals' he quoted in his stories," said Paul M. Rodriguez, editor of Insight. "He was a walking political news almanac."
A native of Coos Bay, Ore., Mr. Rust graduated from the University of Oregon in Eugene in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in history. While an undergraduate, he was an associate editor of the Oregon Daily Emerald, the university's student newspaper.
Before attending the university, Mr. Rust was a sportswriter and reporter in the late 1970s for Coos Bay newspapers and radio stations.
In 1983, he co-founded Oregon Commentator, an on-campus conservative journal. He also was a senior editor for two years.
In 1986, Mr. Rust was an associate editor at Newswatch, an Alexandria-based media research center. In 1987, he was a free-lance writer in the District for the Detroit News and Oregon-based publications.
In 1992, Mr. Rust began working for Insight, an opportunity where one longtime friend said Mr. Rust was at his best.
"Working at Insight, Mike had come into his own," said Tom Edwards, a good friend for the past 18 years. "He was contributing regularly to pieces. He was happy doing that because he loved to write. He loved to research his articles and do background interviews.
"Mike was a very curious guy, and that's what I think made him a good writer. That, and he was a voracious reader," said Mr. Edwards, also from Oregon.
In early 2001, he worked at United Press International for six months before returning to Insight last summer.
Mr. Rust had a series of strokes during the past year and last fall suffered a massive stroke that left him partially paralyzed. But he continued working at the magazine. He left Insight in late January.
Mr. Rust is survived by his mother, Corinne Rust of Coos Bay; and a sister, Molly Plitzko of Germany. His father, Robert Rust, died in 1974.
Mr. Rust will be cremated and his remains will be returned to Coos Bay, where he will be buried alongside his father.
A memorial service is planned, but no date has been set.


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