Bob Conrad, a star political writer for the Hartford Times in the days when The Times and The Courant competed for scoops, died Monday in his hometown of Bristol. He was 91.

Jon Lender has a nice obit, including the bit of advice that Bob shared with many of us over the years: “Don’t ever walk around a building – walk through it.” Bob always figured he’d run into someone who’d have some tidbit that would lead to a story or add to a column.

Bob went to the New Britain Herald after the demise of The Times in the 1970s. The Courant inexplicably failed to grab him, and the thought at the time was the Broad Street newsroom wasn’t big enough for him and his rival, Jack Zaiman. If he resented the slight, Bob kept it to himself.

In retirement, Bob stayed involved with news. He was a volunteer reader at CRIS radio, reading newspaper stories over the air for the blind. The volunteers would read the writer’s byline, and he delighted in relating to me how other volunteers mangled my last name.

The last time I saw Bob, he was following his own advice, cutting through the LOB, look to bump into someone who might have a bit of political gossip.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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