Star columnist Walter Stefaniuk, 72, dies

The Toronto Star reports that long-time reporter Walter Stefaniuk died Friday afternoon at St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto following complications from surgery. He was diagnosed with colon cancer last year.

For 12 years, Walter Stefaniuk contributed the “meticulously researched” column You Asked Us.

Relying on solid shoe-leather reporting skills, Stefaniuk answered real left-fielders from readers like, “What is the nationality of a baby born in international airspace waters?” Being a journalist in the age before Wikipedia and Google meant that Stefaniuk got on the phone or looked for answers in books and reference libraries.

In the first five months of his column in 1990, Stefaniuk received 6,000 questions from readers. You Asked Us was discontinued following his retirement from the Star in 2003.