Whittier Daily News editor Tim Traeger has the obituary:
Bell cut his journalistic teeth in hardscrabble and hard-drinking newsrooms like the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
He covered the Watts Riots in 1965, the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968 and the 1971 Sylmar Earthquake. One of his biggest stories was the 1987 Whittier Narrows Earthquake, which leveled buildings in Uptown and caused millions of dollars in damages.
After his stint at the Tribune, Bell was hired as editor of the Victor Valley Daily Press in 1975 and he moved his burgeoning family to Apple Valley. When that paper was sold in 1979, Bell worked for various weekly publications in Hesperia and Apple Valley before being hired as editor of the Whittier Daily News in 1982.
For Bell, it was both a homecoming and a salvation. He battled alcoholism and often credited Whittier with saving his life. He gave up alcohol for good upon the birth of his first grandchild, Sarah, in 1984.Employee remembrances here and here.