Peter Grant, veteran Los Angeles reporter, editor, public relations executive and Jewish community activist who was the first journalist to enter Japan after its surrender in 1945, died June 4 in San Diego at age 86.
Shortly after his arrival in Tokyo as a founding member of Pacific Stars & Stripes, the U.S. military daily newspaper, Grant was among the first to interview Gen. Douglas MacArthur and he scored a scoop by interviewing the Empress Nagako at the palace. Prior to joining Stars & Stripes, he served as the lead reporter of the South Pacific Daily News in New Caledonia and the Philippines.
A graduate of George Washington University, Grant covered the U.S. Congress for United Press and Transradio Press prior to entering the U.S. Army in 1943. Following World War II, he joined the Los Angeles Times.
During the mid 1950s, he was the only reporter/photographer covering the entire San Fernando Valley for the Times, an area that will become the sixth-largest city in the United States if present efforts for secession are successful. From his small office at the Van Nuys civic center, Grant welcomed colleagues and visitors who would discuss such matters as the problems, progress and endless charges of wrongdoing connected with the construction of the Valley segments of the Ventura and San Diego freeways.
Grant’s five-decade association with the organized Jewish community included service with West Coast Shaare Zedek Hospital, Jerusalem, as executive director; Israel Magazine, editor; Fund for Higher Education, Israel; Valley Storefront, Jewish Federation Council; Southern California Council for Soviet Jews, and a member of Adat Ari El for 43 years.
Grant, a cousin of Gen. Moshe Dayan, in recent years provided major leadership and worked constantly on behalf of Project Chicken Soup, which prepares and delivers kosher meals to homebound people with HIV. Contributions are welcome and may be forwarded to Project Chicken Soup, P.O. Box 480241, Los Angeles 90048.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Evonne; daughters, Laura (Ed) Feldman and Dr. Rachel Grant; grandchildren, Shoshana and Aaron Feldman; and brother, Joe Grodsky (Lillian). — Sid Skolnik