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Chris Gulker, electronic publishing pioneer | 1951 - 2010

Chris Gulker, electronic publishing pioneer | 1951 – 2010

From newspaper photojournalist to community blogger, Chris Gulker’s career spanned publishing’s evolution from print to Web. Gulker died Wednesday at home in Menlo Park, Calif., after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 59.

According to a post on InMenlo, written by his wife, Linda Hubbard Gulker, Gulker started at the now-defunct Herald Examiner in Los Angeles in 1978 and was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize during his 11 years there.

In 1989, he joined the San Francisco Examiner as a picture editor and later became the director of media development. In that role, he helped the Examiner become the first major American daily newspaper to switch to full-color production using desktop technology. His system provided the infrastructure for The Gate, the website jointly operated by the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle.

He started his own website, gulker.com, in 1995 as an inside joke between himself and the then-publisher of the Examiner, Will Hearst. Hearst had said that with the Internet anyone can be a publisher. So Gulker did just that, to Hearst’s delight.

The National Press Photographers Assn. called him a pioneer in electronic desktop publishing and lauded his work in the NPPA’s Electronic Photojournalism Workshop.

On his site, he included a blog, which was one of the early weblogs. Over the last four years, it became a journal of his battle with cancer.

Over the next few years, Gulker held several positions at Apple, Adobe Systems and a number of start-ups.

Lately he was back on the streets of Menlo Park, shooting for InMenlo, a hyper-local blog he started with his wife and Scott Loftesness.

A memorial service will be held on Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. at Trinity Church in Menlo Park.

Read more about Gulker on InMenlo.

1 Comment

  1. October 10, 2011, 9:37 pm

    […] as a staff photographer with the now defunct Los Angeles Herald Examiner. Staff photographer Chris Gulker, who later went on to develop SFGate.com for the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, became a […]

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