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San Diego journalist dead in apparent suicide


A prominent San Diego journalist is dead at the age of 52 in an apparent suicide, according to the county medical examiner.

Michael Portantino, longtime publisher of San Diego's Gay and Lesbian Times, was found dead Wednesday night after apparently jumping from a seven-story hotel near Balboa Park, officials said.

Portantino had reportedly been depressed since his newspaper was forced to close because of financial problems.

"He was tenacious, a fighter, but it just got to be too much for him," said Nicole Murray-Ramirez, a longtime columnist for the newspaper.

Murray-Ramirez said Portantino "brought gay journalism into the modern world" with coverage of nightlife, politics and social issues.

Reporters for mainstream publications often sought out Portantino when they needed information or comments about issues involving the gay and lesbian community.

Portantino is survived by a daughter.

--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Michael Portantino. Credit: Facebook

Comments () | Archives (5)

May he rest in peace.

I am very sortry for the loss of Mr. Portantino. I never read his publication, nor shared his gender choice, but the loss of every journalist in this day of declining readership is a tragedy. I wish the government's largesse to folks like General Motors and Bank of America was also available to some of this nation's vital but nonetheless failing newspapers.

We are truly heartbroken. Our thoughts go out to the many friends and family of Mr. Portantino, and the San Diego community at large. We have all lost a good human being and community leader.

I seriously doubt this was a suicide especially with LGBT rights issues being so hot. Go CIA, Frank still remembers when you pushed him out of a hotel, as well.

As tribute to all the work he did and progress he made for the lgbt community, we need to remember the light he brought to the word enlightenment and perhaps even his fall was that of a star echoing beyond sorrow.


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