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James Ray Polk

September 12, 1937 ~ July 15, 2021 (age 83)


James Ray “Jim” Polk, 83 of Marietta, GA went to his eternal resting place onThursday, July 15, 2021 peacefully while at his residence.

Jim was born September 12, 1937 to the late Oeta and Raymond Polk in Oaktown,IN.

At the age of eight he wrote about sports for the local paper, the Oaktown Press.After three years in the United States Navy, he attended Indiana UniversityBloomington and received his bachelor' a degree in government in 1964. Heworked as a political staff writer for the Bloomington-based Herald-Telephone,and received the American Political Science Award. He moved to the AssociatedPress in 1962, and later joined the Washington Star in 1971.James R. Polk was an American journalist, known for his investigative reporting and coverage of American political corruption and fraud. Over the course of his career, he has covered the Raymond Donovan investigations, the Bert Lance controversy, the Abscam scandal, and the financial dealings of John Zaccaro,husband of 1984 Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro. Polkwon several journalism awards: George Polk Award, an Emmy, and the PultizerPrize for Investigative Reporting. He was also the co-founder of Investigative Reporters and Editors that was headquartered in New Jersey. Among his many accomplishments he also was; employed by NBC from 1975-1992 as an investigative reporter, this was when he covered the Abscam, and racketeering case against Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, and the Iran-Contra Affair; in 1992 he joined CNN as Senior Documentary Producer, during his time at CNN James was awarded the Emmy earlier mentioned. IN 1994 James was entered into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame (

Not only was James a well accomplished journalist and investigator, he still made time to put his family first as well as his colleagues. He was very involved with his children’s athletics and coached all the teams that his children participated in while growing up, including; Little League, T-Ball, and Softball. He was a devoted family man and an avid sports fan; since moving to Atlanta he was a dedicated Braves fan but his true passion was I.U. football and basketball. A quote from one of Jim’s colleagues, “In any newsroom, to have Jim Polk praise your work was the ultimate compliment because he didn’t give them out lightly. He was a tough teacher but generous with his time and talent. He once told me that my documentary was the finest documentary CNN ever produced including those he, himself did. I think I cried when he told me that. That’s how much Jim’s opinion counted.”

Jim is survived by: his adoring wife, Cara Bryn Saylor Polk; son, Geoffery Polk(Crystal); daughter, Abigail Polk-Stolarsky (Igor); grandchildren Bradley Polk, AdamRobinette, and Bryan Robinette; and a brother, Dr. David Polk (Kitty).

He was preceded in death by a daughter, Amy Ellen Polk.To honor Jim’s wishes there will be a private burial in his hometown of Oaktown,IN. 
You may leave the family online condolences at Fredrick and Son McClure-Utt, Funeral Homes is honored to be entrusted withMr. Polk’s arrangements. In lieu of flowers please make memorial contributions to Indiana University, at for options .

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