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Irish journalist who interviewed every US president from Truman to Clinton dies aged 92

A journalist who interviewed every US president from Truman to Clinton, and Che Guevera to boot, has died aged 92.

The secret of Arthur Quinlan's success was the location of his freelance operation, at Shannon Airport, and the fact that it was a stop-over point for trans-Atlantic flights.

After joining the NUJ in 1946 he was made a member of honour in 2005.

The Irish Examiner report on his death includes this anecdote: 

Arthur was also the master of executing international scoops. On getting a tip-off that Air Force One was due to make a stop at Shannon with the then president George Bush, Arthur drove to the airport in the wee hours in the hope of getting an interview. Bush was not due to leave the plane, but decided to visit duty free shops at 4am.

Arthur got a brief but very important interview with Bush on the Middle East and was on the phone moments later flashing it to the international news agencies he worked for. 

As his report hit newsrooms in the US, frantic editors deluged the communications room on Air Force One to find out what was going on and why was an Irish ‘stringer’ filing such a story. 

The Irish Times notes: 

He also interviewed the kings of Albania, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Saudi Arabia, Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco.
 

 

 
"Arthur was a model journalist - meticulous in his research, dogged in pursuit of a news angle and fiercely loyal to his union. Young freelances found in Arthur a kind colleague who, despite being competitive, was generous with his time.  

 

 

"He will be remembered for his passionate commitment to the Mid West region. He had a great sense of fun and was a wonderful story teller.

 

 

 "He was proud of the NUJ and was delighted to be nominated as Member of Honour." 

 

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