In Memory of Gregory Yee: A Talented and Determined Journalist

It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Los Angeles Times reporter Gregory Yee at the age of 33.

Yee, a hard-charging breaking news correspondent, was a valued member of the Fast Break desk, the newspaper’s breaking news unit. His family believes that complications from a respiratory condition were the cause of his untimely death.

Gregory Yee: From UC Irvine Student to Rising Journalist

Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Yee attended UC Irvine and earned a double degree in Spanish and literary journalism in 2012.

Career in Journalism

He served as the newspaper’s editor-in-chief before beginning his career in journalism. After a brief stint at a New Mexico newspaper, Yee reported on crime for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and covered criminal justice for the Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina. It was there that he anchored coverage of a mass shooting by a former NFL player in Rock Hill.

Work at the Los Angeles Times

Yee’s exceptional work on the shooting story caught the attention of Sam Farmer, a sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times.

The farmer reached out to Yee while he was in South Carolina covering the incident and encouraged him to apply for a position at the newspaper. Yee, who had always dreamed of working for the Times in his hometown, jumped at the opportunity and was eventually hired after a nationwide search.

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As an assistant managing editor who oversaw Yee’s work, B.J. Terhune remembered him as truly passionate about breaking news. “That really stood out when we were interviewing him,” said Terhune.

Despite being hired during the COVID-19 pandemic and working remotely, Yee quickly made a name for himself as a dedicated and skilled reporter. He covered a range of stories, from hot weather and wildfires to Oakland’s gun violence and the debate over robotic police dogs.

Personal Life and Interests

In addition to his impressive work ethic, Yee was known for his strong narrative skills and ability to turn even the most mundane story into a captivating tale.

“When he had the opportunity, he tried to turn it into a tale that readers wanted to stay with,” said Terhune.

Yee was also a data-driven journalist who regularly checked the newspaper’s online analytics to see how long readers were spending on his stories.

Family and Legacy

Outside of work, Yee was a dog lover and doting “dad” to his pit bull mix, Jake. He enjoyed walking the city and taking pictures and was frequently seen strolling through Franklin Village, the neighborhood near the Hollywood sign where he lived with Jake.

Yee leaves behind his parents, Andrew and Mirta, and two sisters, Halina Yee of Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Emma Yee of San Francisco. His father, a retired pulmonologist, remembers Yee as a curious and inquisitive child who was fascinated by the world around him.

“He was always curious about everything,” said Andrew Yee. “I take comfort in knowing Gregory came back to L.A. and was thriving at the paper. He said he felt like [journalism] was a calling, like it’s in his genes to do it.”

“He brought nerve, will, discipline and high ambition to every project he tackled. It was clear to me that Greg would go on to achieve much in the field of journalism, carving out a very special career.”

Barry Siegel, who runs UC Irvine’s Literary Journalism program, said of Yee:

Conclusion: A Loss to the Journalism Community

Yee’s untimely death is a loss not only to his family and friends but to the journalism community as a whole. He will be remembered as a talented and determined journalist who dedicated his career to pursuing the stories that shaped Los Angeles.