Enigmatic, well-known newsman found dead

Learn why Lee Perlman’s death surprised and has saddened many throughout the City. See exclusive photos of him, at work …

During the 2007 Rossi Barn Bash, the Parkrose Posse presents their “This is an Outrage” Award, to Mid-County MEMO reporter Lee Perlman. East Portland News archive photo

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Anyone who attended a community meeting in the last 25 years probably met, or at least saw, reporter Lee Perlman, scribing notes.

But, on August 9, 64-year-old Perlman was found dead at his N. Brazee Street home, when officers of the Portland Police Bureau conducted a “welfare check” at the residence. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.

“A few days before he passed, Lee was at a meeting with a developer,” Eliot Neighborhood Association Chair Allan Rudwick told East Portland News. “He gave well-informed advice. We’re losing a good neighbor, and a great guy.”

As the news passed through the neighborhood, Rudwick added, “There was an outpouring of sadness and support as neighbors shared memories of Lee at the Eliot Ice Cream Social in Dawson Park this past Monday.”

Perlman was well known in outer East Portland, because of his prolific reporting resulting in articles that appeared in the Mid-County Memo, as well as independent Portland area newspapers including Hollywood Star, Southeast Examiner and Southwest Post.

At this April, 2012 meeting of the Sellwood Bridge Community Advisory Committee meeting at the Sellwood’s SMILE Station, Lee Perlman sits in “his” front, corner seat, “ducking” to avoid being photographed, while waiting for the meeting to commence. East Portland News archive photo

We attended many meetings that Perlman was covering for the Southwest Post. He always said hello, and usually had a wry comment or an original joke for us, in passing. Because he made it clear he wished not to be photographed, we cropped his image out of our published photos.

An extremely private man, Perlman tried to escape recognition during the 2007 edition of the Barn Bash held at Rossi Farms in Parkrose.

“We suspected trouble might be brewing when the Parkrose Posse gathered in the main dining tent, looking for reporter Lee Perlman. But, they had an award for him in their holsters,” we wrote about the event.

Lee Perlman is seen here at work, taking notes during one of the hundreds of meetings about which he reported.

Perlman is survived by his mother and a brother; a memorial service may take place in the coming weeks.

A memorial Facebook page has been set up for Perlman. To view it, CLICK HERE.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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