Thursday, July 24, 2003

A former copy desk chief for The Washington Times, described as a “quiet superstar” and known for his thoroughness and cool temperament, died Tuesday in a car accident in Toledo, Wash.

Bryant Snapp, who worked at The Times from 1989 to 1998, was vacationing in Washington state in the Olympia area when he died in a two-vehicle accident in which two others also were killed. He was 36 years old.

After leaving The Times in July 1998, Mr. Snapp had a short stint at a Philadelphia medical publication before returning to Washington. He took the position of deputy copy editor for national news at The Washington Post before moving to the editorial page last year as chief copy editor.

“He could do anything,” said Post copy editor and friend Bill Walsh. “He immediately got respect both at The Times and at The Post for his overall excellence.”

“His demeanor made it less stressful,” said Patrick Tuohy, The Times’ current copy desk chief, who took the job after Mr. Snapp stepped down. “He was always very respectful of other people in the newsroom.”

Mr. Snapp graduated from Edison High School in Alexandria and went to the University of Virginia, where he majored in French, never graduating after taking a position as a copy editor at The Times in 1989.

“He was serious about getting the job done,” Mr. Tuohy said.

Outside of the newsroom, Mr. Snapp showed his fun side that not everyone normally saw.

“He came to my wedding three years ago in Las Vegas,” said Mr. Walsh, who worked with Mr. Snapp at both The Times and The Post. “I remember when the Madonna song ‘Ray of Light’ played. Bryant had the time of his life on the dance floor.”

In addition to editing and dancing, he also had a love of women’s tennis and the cinema.

“He was so smart, really knew a lot,” Mr. Walsh said. “He was a big fan of movies. He could name the Oscar winners for every year. He was just a great guy.”

Mr. Snapp also helped the Washington Renegades rugby team with publicity.

While he never earned a degree, co-workers described him as a very intelligent man.

“He was one of the best editors I’ve ever had,” Mr. Walsh said. “He was good at a very young age. If something needed to be done, he’d do it in a snap. He was smarter than people with two or three degrees.”

Mr. Snapp’s family is planning a memorial service for next week, but no site or specific date has been determined.

In lieu of flowers, family members request that contributions be made to support the Marine Corps Marathon run of Michael Baks, runner No. DC-1083. More information is available at

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