“Steve Dunleavy, the hard-hitting, hard-drinking journalist who helped define The New York Post as a crime reporter, editor and premier columnist, died Monday at his home on Long Island,” write Gabrielle Fonrouge and Bruce Golding in The Post.
No cause of death was released. Dunleavy was 81.
Rupert Murdoch, owner of The Post, said, “Steve Dunleavy was one of the greatest reporters of all time.”
The story adds: “In 1986, Murdoch made Dunleavy one of the first reporters for ‘A Current Affair,’ a tabloid-style TV program produced for Murdoch’s then-fledgling Fox broadcast TV network.
“During nearly a decade with the show, Dunleavy beat ABC’s ‘Nightline’ out of an exclusive interview with Jessica Hahn, the mistress of televangelist Jim Bakker, by going to her house and telling an ABC driver that Hahn had been taken to a hospital.”
In addition, “Over the course of his epic career, Dunleavy scored countless exclusives, including interviews with the mother of Sirhan Sirhan, Robert F. Kennedy’s assassin, and confessed ‘Boston Strangler’ Albert DeSalvo,” notes The Post.
Included in the obituary is this story about Dunleavy, which “involves a snowy night at the Upper East Side media hangout Elaine’s, where Dunleavy met the Norwegian fiancée of an Australian journalist.
“While his pals decamped to another bar across the street, Dunleavy and the fiancée wound up outside, ‘humping in the snow, arses going up and down,’ former Daily Mail correspondent George Gordon told The New Yorker for a profile of Dunleavy in 2000.
“‘As we were watching, a snowplow came up the street and ran over Dunleavy’s foot,’ Gordon said. ‘By this time, the entire bar was in uproarious laughter.’
“Dunleavy ‘was so loaded, it didn’t matter,’ Gordon said, but was eventually taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken foot.”
To read The Post’s complete, lengthy obituary of Dunleavy, please click here.
In this 10-minute interview from last year that we found on YouTube, Dunleavy reminisces about his career: