George Ramos died of a heart attack

July 28, 2011

George Ramos


CalCoastNews editor and renowned Los Angeles Times journalist George Ramos died of a heart attack, the autopsy determined. He was 63 years old.

San Luis Obispo County Coroner Investigator Jeff Nichols said the heart attack was caused by a blood clot in the organ’s right ventricle. The autopsy also found many of Ramos’ vital organs were severely damaged and compromised due to his prolonged diabetes.

The former Cal Poly journalism department chair had been dead for about seven days by the time his body was found, Nichols said.

First responders discovered Ramos’ body Saturday in his Morro Bay home after they were alerted by CalCoastNews investigative reporter Karen Velie that signs indicated Ramos was home but not responding.

Velie had been trying to locate Ramos to check on his well-being after he had been unresponsive to calls for several days and had not alerted the news organization of any travel plans.

Since the news of his untimely death, Ramos has been memorialized by media through numerous articles, television newscasts, radio shows and even the Los Angeles City Council for his lifetime of dedication to journalism and efforts to improve representation of Latinos in media.

Ramos, who often used to say “I’m just a kid from East L.A.,” grew up to become an esteemed journalist with the Los Angeles Times. Ramos earned three Pulitzer-Prizes during his 25 plus years as an editor, bureau chief, reporter and columnist with the newspaper.

He also nurtured many aspiring journalists, teaching at the University of Southern California, University of Arizona and Cal Poly, where he graduated from the journalism program in 1969.

Ramos returned to his alma mater in 2003 to become the Cal Poly journalism department chair. He then severed as a professor of journalism and had recently retired from the university.

The celebrated teacher and journalist also proudly served his country in Vietnam and was awarded with a Purple Heart.

Services are currently being planned. CalCoastNews will provide more information as it becomes available.

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I’ve read most of the articles, opinions and tribute’s that George’s friends have wrote about their time with him. It sounds like George way a free spirit who lived his life the way he wanted and did the things he wanted to do. He liked meeting colleagues and friends in bars, enjoyed beer and tequila and went to McDonald’s every morning. One friend from the LA Times talks about George having serious problems with his diabetes after he refused to pass up his favorite burrito’s. Rest in peace George, you enjoyed your life, gave much, and you did it your way.

Once again my condolences to the family.

That being said please everyone, get an annual physical and if the doc says you have a condition do all you can to get it under control. Most conditions accelerate to dangerous levels because of lack of response.

Mr. Ramos was only 63 years young…

If it is any consolation to those who cared about George, he probably passed away just like my father did. My father too died at sixty three years old, and he too had had diabetes. He had changed his diet, he did exercise some, but he had a massive heart attack one morning; he sat up and clutched his chest, fell over the side of his bed and the paramedics said he was most likely dead by the time he fell on the floor. Other than the pain of the heart attack, George most likely did not suffer. My condolences again to all who knew him and cared for him. And to anyone who is diabetic, take care of yourself; get those check ups, follow the advice about eating right and exercising if you want to be around to see your grandkids graduate.

My father came home from the Korean War with frostbitten feet. Years later, he suffered multiple leg amputations due to diabetis. He lost both legs and chestbone. We lost him 5 years ago to a heart attack in his sleep. He suffered no pain. PLEASE take care of yourselves. If you have diabetis, speaking from a long time caregiver to my Dad, please think of those you live and love with. Manage your illness for them as well as for you.

God Bless George and his loved ones during this difficult time. I am so sorry for your loss.