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When Mike Curtin walked into the Dispatch newsroom as an intern in 1973, it didn't take him but a few days to figure out that he wanted to learn from Statehouse reporter David Lore.

"Dave was just a real straight arrow," said Curtin, who spent 34 years at the newspaper and eventually retired as associate publisher in 2007. "Dave's copy was meticulously objective, meticulously researched and was the epitome of what good journalism should be. He had a true north, and he really set the standard at The Dispatch."

Curtin recalled his former longtime colleague with more than a touch of melancholy and sadness. Lore, who retired from The Dispatch in 2003 after a career here spanning 37 years, died early Tuesday of heart and kidney failure. He was 77.

Born in New York and a product of Fort Lee High School in New Jersey, Lore graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1962 and started at The Dispatch in 1965 as a police reporter. A third-generation award-winning journalist, there was little at the newspaper that he did not do, covering everything from education and crime to politics and prisons. He was, at various times, a projects editor and an assistant city editor. Though his early political coverage was standard-bearing, it was when he pioneered the paper's science beat in 1982 that he really soared.

Covering stories both near and far - whether it was reporting from the ice caps of Antarctica or writing about groundbreaking research underway at Ohio State University or Battelle - he had the valuable talent of taking complicated material and writing it in an interesting way that readers enjoyed, Curtin said.

Former Dispatch reporter and local author Robin Yocum worked with Lore for more than a decade, but wasn't sure their styles would mesh when Lore became his editor on the projects team.

"Dave was very cerebral, and I was more of a cowboy," Yocum said. "He would approach a story with a surgical knife, and I wanted to use a ball bat."

As it turned out, it was a great partnership. Yocum said he learned much from the guiding hand of Lore, who quietly and without credit mentored countless young reporters over his decades in the business.

A natural sense of curiosity was a fundamental part of Lore's life. He and his wife, Rosemary, made their home in Newark and were married for 50 years. Over time, they had traveled to at least a dozen countries on six continents. She died in 2013.

After his wife died, Lore moved to Atlanta to be with his daughter, Diane Lore, son-in-law, and three grandchildren. While there, her father flourished, Diane Lore said, adding with a laugh, "he was convinced Stouffer's lasagna was the elixir of life." He published his first book (the nonfiction work, Firebrand) at 76.

Diane Lore said there will be a service in central Ohio but no date has been set.