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Former UPI news executive Don Brydon dies

NEW YORK, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Donald J. Brydon, a former news executive for United Press International on two continents, has died at the age of 80.

Brydon died Saturday at the Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills, N.Y., of cancer.

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During a two-stint period that covered a 10-year span, Brydon supervised UPI's news coverage in Asia. He first went to Tokyo as general news editor for Asia in 1962 where he was responsible for UPI's reporting from Japan to Afghanistan. In that capacity, Brydon directed the buildup of UPI's news staff in Saigon during the early years of the Vietnam War.

In 1965 Brydon returned to the United States to become UPI's Southwest Division business manager in Dallas for one year. He was reassigned to Tokyo in 1966 as vice president and general manager for Asia.

Before going to Tokyo in 1962, Brydon was a regional executive in Indiana, Ill., and Iowa, and worked as a news reporter in UPI bureaus in St. Louis, Springfield, Ill., Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Madison, Wis., and Indianapolis.

Brydon was named Central Division manager with headquarters in Chicago in 1972 and remained in that position for five years. He moved to New York in 1977 as vice president and sales manager for the 20 states in the East and Southeast.

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He was named senior vice president on Sept. 18, 1982, and given responsibility for UPI's sales and service to group newspaper subscribers, after the news service was sold by E.W. Scripps.

He left shortly afterwards to become a newspaper broker with Lee Keller, another former UPI executive. When Keller passed away, he continued on his own for several years.

Brydon was a native of Bloomfield, Mo., where his father owned and published the weekly Bloomfield Vindicator. During World War II, he was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Force, serving as a combat navigator in Europe in 1944-45 and flying 37 combat missions in bombers in the European Theater.

He was married to Helen Merrill, a well-known jazz singer and recording artist. They divorced in 1992.

He is survived by a nephew, David Brydon of Jefferson City, Mo.

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