I remember doing an interview for a magazine working on a feature about Los Angeles Daily News political reporter Rick Orlov years ago. Rick was an institution then, a steady presence at Los Angeles City Hall and an outstanding journalist. I can’t recall much of the long ago magazine story expect that Rick , in breaking in a new Los Angeles Daily News reporter at a bar, changed the drink order the reporter made to a double because Rick was about to reveal the newspaper business to this beginner.

Rick often mentored new reporters. His gentle style served him well both with young reporters and grizzled politicians.

The truth was Rick loved the newspaper business and he was good at it. He covered Los Angeles politics for decades, with multiple sources in city hall, which he called on for his many news reports and brief snippets in his Daily News political columns, the Tip-Off and the Sausage Factory.

I was proud to be a source for Rick because I knew he would cover issues honestly. He covered many events I was involved in and I returned the favor in Fox and Hounds quoting some of his thoughts on the Los Angeles and state political scene.

Despite losing some toes to diabetes many years ago and walking with a cane, he kept up his prodigious pace right to the end when he passed away yesterday at age 66.

Rick Orlov was important to the people of Los Angeles. He helped them understand the ever more complex world of local politics and government. A good guy, a good journalist and a good teacher of politics and government for the readers of his newspaper, he will be sorely missed.

More on Rick in today’s Los Angeles Daily News.