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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell

Automotive tech writer | Los Angeles Times | Class of 1977

The journalism apprenticeship was first-rate. But it’s what happened after The Daily Illini was put to bed that Russ Mitchell remembers most fondly about his days on campus in the mid-’70s. 

First stop for last call: Murphy’s.

“We’d convene there for a few pints,” says Mitchell (’77), who covers the automotive technology beat at the Los Angeles Times. “‘Why Don’t We Get Drunk & Screw’ by Jimmy Buffet was on the jukebox. So was John Coltrane.

"There was often some dancing on the tables. The bartender would tell us to cut it out, but that didn’t stop us from trying again.”

Mitchell’s runner-up memory from those days? “Fish sandwiches at the DeLuxe. None better.”