10/30/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Steve Dunleavy, Longtime Murdoch Tabloid Columnist, Retires

There are so many stories about the life and times of Steve Dunleavy, the longtime New York Post columnist and even longer-time Rupert Murdoch acolyte, that some, inevitably, have evolved over the years.

Many of the tales involve copious amounts of alcohol. But not this one. It goes like this: As a young copyboy in Australia 55 years ago, Mr. Dunleavy was so hungry for a story that he popped the tires of his father's car at a murder scene. His father, a photographer at a rival paper, could not get to the post office to transmit photos, and Mr. Dunleavy, then about 15 years old, earned his paper a big scoop.

That is how Mr. Murdoch remembers it.

Mr. Dunleavy tells a different version. Yes, he punctured the tires of a car, but it was owned by his father's newspaper and he did not know his dad was there. And it was not a murder but the story of a group of missing hikers.

"That story gets told and told, and each time it gets a little bit more whiskers on it," Mr. Dunleavy said.

After 55 years in journalism -- 41 of them spent working for Mr. Murdoch -- Mr. Dunleavy is seeing the curtain come down on his career. He has been an unabashed friend to police officers, firefighters, civil servants and the occasional mobster and the scourge of polite society and liberals.

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