TOMLINSON KENNETH YOUNG TOMLINSON Kenneth Young Tomlinson, 69, of Middleburg, Virginia died on May 1, 2014 at Winchester Medical Center. In a 28-year career at Reader's Digest, he rose to the position of Editor-in-Chief in 1989. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan appointed Tomlinson Director of the Voice of America, where he served until 1984. He began his career in journalism as a reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch in 1965. In 1968 he joined the Washington bureau of Reader's Digest, then served as a correspondent in Vietnam, and eventually in Paris, where he covered events in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Tomlinson is former chairman of U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors from 2002 to 2007 which oversees all non-military U.S. international broadcasting, including the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), Radio and TV Mart??, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN). He was also Chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) from 2003-2005. Tomlinson is the co-author of P.O.W., a history of American prisoners of war in Vietnam. In 1985, he was chairman of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. From 1986 to 1994, he served as a member of the U.S. Board for International Broadcasting. In 1995, he was named Virginia Press Association's Virginian of the Year, and he is a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. Tomlinson is a recipient of the Phillips Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Tomlinson was born on August 3, 1944 near Grayson County, Virginia, the son of the late Young Tomlinson and Mattie Wingate Tomlinson. He married Rebecca Moore on April 25, 1975 in Washington, DC. A 1966 graduate of Randolph-Macon College, Tomlinson later received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater in 1995. Outside his love of country and family was his passion for thoroughbred racing. Tomlinson owned Sandy Bayou Stables and produced two stakes winners, Lonesome Sound and Missy Dear. His horse, Massoud, won two races at Saratoga in the summer of 2006. Tomlinson also enjoyed bluegrass, ACC basketball and the Washington Nationals and Redskins. Survived by his wife and two sons, William Moore Tomlinson of West Hartford, CT and Lucas Young Tomlinson and his wife Anne of Alexandria, VA. A funeral celebrating the life of Kenneth Y. Tomlinson will take place Friday, May 9 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, Virginia. 11 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, Virginia.
Published in The Washington Post on May 4, 2014.