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One of the nation's most distinguished foreign correspondents, William D. Montalbano was Rome bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times for eight years, and its London bureau chief for three, before his untimely death in 1998. Before that, among other beats, he covered Latin America for the Miami Herald and the Los Angeles Times, and he was the founding bureau chief in China for the Miami Herald/Knight-Ridder newspapers. While in Rome, he traveled with the pope on more than two dozen trips to four continents. Montalbano, the winner of a dozen national reporting awards, was the author or co-author of four novels.