Veteran Transportation Reporter Lawrence Kaufman Dies; Started at the Cleveland Press

A veteran journalist who covered the railroad industry and who died recently started his career in Cleveland.

Lawrence H. (Larry) Kaufman has been described as one of the most highly respected journalists in the railroad industry.

Mr. Kaufman, 80, began his journalism career at the Cleveland Press. He later would work for the Journal of Commerce and Business Week, several Class 1 railroads, the Association of American Railroads and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

He was a columnist for Trains magazine, where he wrote the Industry Insider column from January 2002 to August 2004, and wrote a column for Argus Railroad Business.

“In my opinion, Larry was the most knowledgeable and honorable journalist covering the rail industry,” said Stanford Erickson, former editor of the Journal of Commerce. “He understood how policy was put together and how things worked. He was a newsman’s newsman.”

“Larry knew more stories than Aesop and more people than a talk show host, and he was unfailingly engaging and upbeat,” said Frank S. Brown, assistant vice president for corporate communications at Norfolk Southern.

As a reporter for Business Week, Mr. Kaufman in 1970 broke the story of the imminent bankruptcy of Penn Central.

While at the Journal of Commerce he broke the news of a proposed merger between Canadian National with Burlington Northern and the Santa Fe. That proposed merger, though, did not pan out.

Mr. Kaufman also was guest lecturer at the Transportation Institute at the University of Denver, and the Northwestern University Transportation Center.

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