Austin writer Jan Reid dies of heart failure at age 75
Austin author and journalist Jan Reid died early Sept. 19 of heart failure according to his close friend and fellow writer W.K. Stratton. He was 75.
Wichita Falls-reared Reid, part of a band of journalists linked together informally by Texas Monthly magazine since the 1970s, also wrote novels, histories and other books. That talented group has included Stephen Harrigan, Lawrence Wright, Gary Cartwright, Larry L. King, John Spong, Michael Hall and others.
Reid delved into crime, politics, sports and Texas history. His breakthrough book, a deep look at the Austin music scene of the 1970s, “The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock,” has never gone out of print. He also wrote a biography of Gov. Ann Richards, “Let the People In.”
In April 1998, Reid was shot during a hold up in Mexico City where he had gone to watch a prize fight involving his friend Jesus Chavez. His long recovery was watched carefully by his Texas fans and friends. Reid, who worked out with boxers at local gyms, wrote about his experience in “The Bullet Meant for Me.”
His late wife, Dorothy Browne, a Democratic Party activist formerly married to novelist Billy Lee Brammer, was a key to his recovery. Browne died last December of cancer.
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