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With Paul Burka’s death Sunday night at age eighty, there are almost too many losses to count. Galveston-born, educated at Rice University and the University of Texas law school, Paul loved Texas and knew more about it than anyone else on the Texas Monthly staff, where he worked as an editor and writer from its earliest days in 1974 until his retirement in 2015. He knew its tiniest towns, its best barbecue, its worst small-time pols and best baseball players. More important, he knew what Texas should be and could be, and devoted his life to trying, heroically, to make it so.All these qualities made him, in turn, a great journalist, one who knew intuitively what Texans wanted—and needed—to read. Swimming holes and chili were…
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