The former president of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce in downtown Los Angeles who was also possibly the longest-serving news executive in Southern California has died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
Former City News Service Executive Vice President Yet Lock was 83.
Lock died Sept. 7 in Sarasota, Florida, where he and his wife, actress June Kim, had lived since Lock retired in 2012.
Lock was also a driving force in the Asian American Journalists Association. The AAJA had honored him for “paving the way for Asian Americans.”
The Los Angeles City Council honored Lock at the time of his retirement after 40 years with City News Service.
City Councilman Paul Koretz introduced a resolution marking July 27, 2012, as “Yet Lock Day.”
Koretz called Lock a “crucial figure” in the history of Los Angeles journalism who helped build CNS into “an amazingly vital and vibrant news agency.”
Lock was the business face of CNS, interacting with news editors and executives at TV, radio, print and internet media that subscribe to CNS.
He also served as a mentor to scores of young journalists during his career.
Lock started with City News Service in 1972 after working as a top aide to former Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty.
“He has institutional knowledge that few others possess about city history, local communities and culture and the ways of government,” Koretz said at the time.
He also noted Lock’s long-time community engagement in the Asian community.
Lock said then that he was “greatly honored by this recognition today, and I will always cherish it.”
Koretz said, “Through steadfast ways and caring deeds, Yet Lock has made Los Angeles a better place in which to work and live.”
Upon Lock’s retirement, CNS Editor Lori Streifler called Lock CNS’ “gentleman news executive.”
“He has always related to the hundreds of CNS subscribers and literally thousands of CNS staff members through the years in a cordial, collegial manner, she said. “At the same time, Yet managed to be effective and highly successful in a key role that helped CNS grow into the professional and trusted wire service that it is today.”
Lock, who graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism, was a public school teacher before joining the Los Angeles mayor’s office. He came to City News Service (www.socalnews.com) from the mayor’s office in January 1972.
A scattering of ashes into the ocean off Sarasota is planned for Oct. 5.
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