FORMER FCCJ Member Marvin Petal died on April 17 in Oxnard, California after a battle with cancer. He was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on January 15, 1929. He graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1948, with a degree in journalism. While he was there he wrote for the Seattle Post Intelligencer. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict and while in Korea, he wrote for the Pacific Stars and Stripes. He returned to Los Angeles in 1954, where he worked for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and KTLA-TV.
He was a talented writer who wrote scripts and acted in early television. Later he wrote for the L.A. Examiner and did post-graduate work at UCLA. The Twilight Zone episode, “Five Characters in Search of an Exit” was adapted by Rod Serling from Marvin’s script “The Depository.” Marvin covered business and economics for McGraw Hill World News for 22 years. He wrote many cover stories for Business Week and other McGraw magazines. In 1970, he led a 12 member journalist group to interview Chiang Kai-shek.
From 1964 thru 1970, Petal was Tokyo Bureau Chief for McGraw-Hill World News. After his return to the U.S. and his retirement from McGraw Hill, Petal did writing, editorial and public relations work for various publications and businesses. Marvin is survived by his wife, Diane, his former wife Ruth, three children, a son-in-law, and three grandchildren.
Memorial services were held at Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles on April 21.