Born in Spring Valley, IL, in 1951, Girard C. Steichen earned a BA in philosophy at University of Wisconsin in 1974 and an MA in German and English at Illinois State University in 1976.

He worked as a reporter at newspapers in Streator, Belleville and St. Louis from 1980-1987. After a year or two as world news editor for the Associated Press, be became their correspondent in Bonn, Germany, covering Eastern and Western Germany plus the balance of Eastern Europe. During this time he reported on the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In 1990 and 1991, he served as Eastern European correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor in Berlin.

He also frequently contributed to Newsweek, Time, the London Times, etc.

A instrument rated pilot, he worked for the Flight Safety Foundation and then the National Transportation Safety Board from 1992 to 2011.

Steichen died of pneumonia in late 2011.

Source of info: Pantagraph obituary, 25 October 2011, page 10.