Jim Mustard, WBAL-TV newsman, 51

January 03, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Jim Mustard, a veteran WBAL-TV news reporter and editor who was known for his insightful, sensitive and detailed reporting and his courageous battle against cancer and AIDS, died yesterday of complications from the illnesses at his home in the Broadview Apartments. He was 51.

Mr. Mustard, who in his 23 years with WBAL covered City Hall, the State House and transportation, retired in 1993 due to illness. In 1984, he had been diagnosed with bone cancer and given six months to live, and in 1992 was diagnosed with AIDS.

At his retirement, he told co-workers, "I've had a ball. If a man's riches can be measured in friendships and wonderful memories of shared accomplishments, then I am at the top of the Fortune 500 and Forbes lists."

James B. Mustard was born and raised in Philadelphia. He graduated from Olney High School there in 1962 and went to work for radio station WNJH in Hammonton, N.J. After stints at radio and television stations in Pennsylvania, he joined WBAL in 1970.

Said Vince Bagli, retired WBAL sportscaster, "He was a real professional who took his job seriously and loved this business."

Betsy Hyle, former Channel 11 news director, said, "Jim was the consummate journalist, dedicated to what he did and to Baltimore."

Interested in many causes, Mr. Mustard devoted his spare time to women's and gay rights and at the time of death was trying to establish a Baltimore chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, which awarded him its distinguished service award in October.

Mr. Mustard owned a 750 Honda V-4 Sports Bike, which he rode with the Network Nomads, a biker group of journalists and broadcasters.

At his request, no service will be held.

He is survived by a brother, Bruce Mustard of Torrance, Calif.; his stepmother, Charlotte Mustard of Roanoke, Va.; a stepbrother, Richard Petterman of Chantilly, Va.; a stepsister, Virginia Dubas of Bargaintown, N.J.; a niece and a nephew.

Memorial donations may be made to the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, P.O. Box 423048, San Francisco, Calif. 94142; or the Salvation Army.

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