Nicholas Patrick Beck Ed.D.
1932 - 2017
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October 13, 1932 - April 4, 2017 Nick Beck - university professor, sports writer, book and Hollywood memorabilia collector, Budd Schulberg's bibliographer, trivia buff and connoisseur of fine mixed spirits - died following about five months of hospital and rehab care, the aftermath of a broken hip and subsequent internal organ failure. He died hoping to see one more Laurel & Hardy film, one more Bruin basketball game, one more of Musso's martinis and a little bit more of everything. Born in Hollywood, Nick's mother was widowed when he was a child. He attended Blessed Sacrament elementary, Hollywood and Loyola high schools. He was graduated from Loyola and immediately enrolled in Los Angeles City College's journalism department with hopes of becoming a sports writer "and cover the big boxing matches at the Olympic Auditorium and the Hollywood Legion Stadium." Following two years in the Army during the Korean War, he returned to LACC and served as editor of the student newspaper, the Collegian. He went on to what was then Los Angeles State College (now Cal State University L.A.) for a degree in journalism and in 1958, a master's degree at UCLA. He accepted a teaching position at Cal State L.A. while a graduate student at UCLA. In 1975, he was awarded a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in history of education. His dissertation was a history of the education of Native-American, African-American, Mexican-American and Asian-American children in California public schools from 1850 to 1890. He retired from teaching in 1988. As a student and later a teacher, Nick worked at the Hollywood Citizen News and then UP and UPI. In 1964, he covered boxing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo; and the 1968 games in Mexico City. He wrote of the beginnings of Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Joe Frazier among others. Journalism wasn't all fun and games. On Aug. 11, 1965, while working for UPI at what was to be called the Watts Riots, he took a beating at the intersection of Imperial Highway and Avalon Blvd. Nick wrote, "I was pulled to safety by an African-American activist, Robert Hall, who may be said to have saved my life." In retirement, Beck wrote a newsletter for journalism alumni of LACC and for more than 10 years was a docent at the Hollywood Heritage Museum in the Lasky-DeMille Barn as well as being a board member of Hollywood Heritage. He acquired books and built collections of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Budd Schulberg, Ernest Hemingway and Christopher Isherwood. Many are signed or inscribed. Nick wrote, "We all have regrets and we make mistakes. With a little luck we learn to be better people. We must think about the reasonably good things we've done and the things we hope to do. And be grateful we live in America." Beck is survived by a niece, Ann; nephew, Peter; grandnephews Nicholas and Morgan, thousands of former students and the many who shared his unwavering interests. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Nick Beck Scholarship Fund, LACC Foundation, 855 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90029. For information about a planned memorial, phone (818) 718-8566.

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Published in Los Angeles Times from Apr. 24 to Apr. 30, 2017.
Memories & Condolences
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8 entries
December 19, 2020
Nick was a great guy with a ton of wonderful stories about Hollywood and his friendship with people who had known bith Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. He was always upbeat and with a smile on his face. I last saw him about 30 years ago and just learned of his passing.I will miss him!
Michael Blatty
Friend
July 17, 2017
So many journos learned the biz under Nick Beck at Cal State L.A.: I was one of them. Nick taught me the basics of clear, concise writing, journalistic ethics and editorial fairness.
He was a good guy. He had a big old German shepherd puppy with him on campus most days that slept quietly under his desk.
Nick knew boxing. Nick knew all sports. Nick told great stories about Hollywood celebs and non-celebs alike.
Nick Beck was Old School, and so am I.

Dwight Chuman
Class of 1972
May 23, 2017
Nick Beck was my journalism professor at Pasadena City College circa 1962-64. I'll always remember him talking about walking to Hollywood High School during the 40s, past the Charlie Chaplin studios with those memorable gears from MODERN TIMES stacked against a wall. R.I.P.
Richard Carnahan
May 6, 2017
Nick was a great raconteur, particularly with stories about the Hollywood culture he loved so much. He was a loyal friend who will be deeply missed. Rob and Annie Young
May 4, 2017
In 1955 I went with Nick to the Olympic Arena to watch the fights. We were also bullfight aficionados and went to Tijuana to watch the bullfights. He was fun to be with. I'm happy to read about all his successes.
Addie
April 30, 2017
Nick Beck was my teacher and adviser of the University Times at Cal State L.A.. I imagine Dr. Beck is in heaven right now giving the angels Associated Press style quizzes.
Mike Eberts
April 26, 2017
I am so sorry for your loss and send my condolences. May you find comfort from the beautiful hope promised to all mankind at Psalms 37:11,29.
Martin E
April 25, 2017
Look at what God will do for man=kind.Isaiah25vs8.
Theresa Williams
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