Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jack Nelson, a founding member of the Board of Visitors at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and former Washington bureau chief for The Los Angeles Times, has died.

Nelson died Wednesday, Oct. 21, of pancreatic cancer at his home in Bethesda, Md., according to his obituary in The Times.

Nelson joined the Board of Visitors in 1983 when it was formed by then-Dean Reese Cleghorn, and served until 2001. He was one of 13 journalists and news executives named to the board shortly after Cleghorn became dean.

Working with faculty and College administrators, the board by 1985 had crafted a five-year plan — “Toward 1990: Creating a Model Professional School” — that was hailed by other schools, and became the blueprint for action that pushed the College to national prominence.

Nelson served on the board for 18 years, stepping down in 2001, the same year that he retired as The Times’ Washington bureau chief. He said at the time that he felt board members should be working journalists and his retirement compelled him to step aside.

Nelson was succeeded on the board by The Times then-bureau chief Doyle McManus, now a columnist who remains on the board today.