PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The widow of The Oregonian’s long-time editorial page editor said her husband would have understood the paper’s decision to publish a story about the fact that he had been paying a 23-year-old woman for sex.
Robert Caldwell, 63, suffered a heart attack following a sex act with the woman. He was pronounced dead Saturday at a Portland hospital.
The Oregonian reported that Caldwell became unresponsive after the sex act at the woman’s apartment, and she called 911. According to Washington County sheriff’s deputies, the woman said she met Caldwell at Portland Community College about a year ago and he had given her cash for books and other items in exchange for sex acts.
The woman also told deputies that Caldwell had not given her any money Saturday. The woman was not charged.
Caldwell’s widow, Lora Cuykendall, posted a Facebook update on Tuesday.
She said her husband “would have understood why The Oregonian needed to print the story” about the circumstances of his death and he would have “regretted the anguish that it caused to those he loves _ both outside and inside of the newspaper.”
She said he was a “kind, loving and fair man” and “we love him unconditionally.”
Before joining The Oregonian, Caldwell worked for The Register-Guard in Eugene, the Albany Democrat-Herald, and the Springfield News, and he was later publisher of The Outlook in Gresham.
He joined The Oregonian as a copy editor in 1983 and later held positions as regional editor, metro editor and public editor.
Caldwell led The Oregonian’s editorial board since November 1995.
The Oregonian won a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for editorials written under Caldwell’s direction about abuses at the Oregon State Hospital.
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