FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Services will be in March for Daniel “Dan” James Olmsted, a Danville High School graduate who went on to become an award-winning journalist and author.
Olmsted, 64, died Jan. 23 at home in Falls Church. A celebration of his life will be at 2 p.m. March 18 at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home in Fairfax, Va.
Olmsted was inducted into the Wall of Fame at Danville High in 2002. At the time of his induction, he was Washington Bureau chief of United Press International, working on an investigative project about severe side effects and deaths associated with an anti-malaria drug. He had joined UPI in 1999.
A 1970 graduate of Danville High, Olmsted was news editor of the Maroon & White student newspaper and also worked part-time at the Commercial-News. After graduating from Yale University in 1974, he returned to Danville and worked as a reporter at the Commercial-News, where he won the Illinois Associated Press award for public service reporting.
According to Commercial-News files, Olmsted left Danville in 1978 to take a job for the Democrat-Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y. He later became assistant editor at Upstate New York, a Sunday supplement magazine.
Later, as senior editor of USA Weekend, he commissioned an investigation of the murder of a Vietnamese immigrant in Florida that won first place in the Asian-American Journalists Association awards. He was an original staff member and assistant national editor at USA Today.
Most recently, Olmsted was editor of the website, Age of Autism, a daily web newspaper about the autism epidemic. He co-wrote the book, “The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-Made Epidemic.”
Comments on his website at www.ageofautism.com describe Olmsted as a friend and champion of the autism community, as well as a journalist of extraordinary integrity and courage.