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Sandra Burton, reporter covered Asia for Time magazine, at 62

NEW YORK -- Sandra Burton, a veteran journalist for Time magazine and one of the first women to become a correspondent for the weekly, has died at age 62.

Ms. Burton died Friday, according to her longtime companion, Robert Delfs, who found her body at the villa they rented in Denpassar, the capital of Bali.

"It appeared she may have fallen and hit her head, but I don't know," Delfs said.

A Bali police spokesman, Colonel Pengasihan Gaut, said there were no signs of foul play.

Ms. Burton joined Time in 1964 as a secretary and rose through the magazine's ranks, becoming a Los Angeles correspondent in 1970. She was named Boston bureau chief in 1973 and became Time's correspondent in Paris in 1977.

Ms. Burton was named Hong Kong bureau chief in 1982, covering Southeast Asia.

She was known in the Philippines for her reporting on the late dictator, Ferdinand E. Marcos, and the 1983 assassination of prominent opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino.

Ms. Burton was on the plane with Aquino when he returned on Aug. 21, 1983, from exile in the United States to challenge Marcos. Aquino was assassinated moments after being escorted off the plane by government soldiers.

She later testified at the trial of soldiers accused of the murder, providing the court with a tape recording that captured the sound of the gunshot that killed Aquino.

"She was relentless as a reporter," said Barry Hillenbrand, a friend and former correspondent at Time.

"She was always going out after another interview. . . . People loved talking to Sandy," he said.

Ms. Burton went on to work as Beijing bureau chief during the Tiananmen Square demonstrations and wrote "Impossible Dream: The Marcoses, the Aquinos, and the Unfinished Revolution."

Ms. Burton left the staff of Time several years ago but continued to work for the magazine on a freelance basis, and was writing another book, a biography of James Brook, who was made Rajah of Sarawak in 1841 as a reward for helping the Sultan of Borneo put down a rebellion, Delfs said.

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