Polk County News Journal editor dies

Published 2:18 pm Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bob Balme, editor of The Polk County News Journal since 1994, died Saturday, May 3 in Tryon.

Balme moved to Tryon from Cobleskill, N.Y., with his wife in 1992. They operated a small horse farm but decided against moving any horses.

He was involved in journalism as a reporter and editor his entire life, having started as a copy boy in 1943. He worked most of his career for The Buffalo Evening News at various editorial assignments, including legislative correspondent at Albany, N. Y. where he received several awards for outstanding reporting of the legislature and governor.

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Balme covered Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller during his quest for the presidency, traveling with him as a reporter throughout the United States and later to Central and South America on goodwill missions. He covered three presidential nominating conventions, two in 1964 at San Francisco and Atlantic City and one in 1968 at Miami.

Balme joined the Rockefeller administration as a political public relations advisor and following that served a decade in state government as director of information and commercial affairs for the New York State Thruway Authority.

In the 1980s he served as director of the news bureau of the New York Stock Exchange. He was later an account executive for Brown Boxenbaum, New York, public relations. He has edited various daily and weekly newspapers and company house organs.

During the Korean War, he served with the 2nd Engineer Special Brigade, amphibious, at Inchon, Korea. He served in the U.S. Army from 1947-52.

He is a graduate of the State University of New York Empire State College at Saratoga Springs, where he majored in history and political science. His wife, Krys, died in 1995. They were married for 40 years. He has a grown son, Robert Jr., and two grandchildren living in Rochester, N. Y.