Melville S. "Buster" Carico was a top political writer for The Roanoke Times. He began his newspaper days as a paper carrier and rose through the ranks of the mailroom and switchboard before becoming a sportswriter at age 19. He eventually became a senior reporter, the position from which he retired in 1981 after 45 years with the paper.
Mr. Carico is a Roanoke native. He attended Jefferson High School and the Memoscript School in Roanoke prior to attending Roanoke College from 1936 to 1939.
During World War II, he was drafted and assigned to the Army Air Corps film unit in Hollywood, California, where his immediate supervisor was future president Ronald Reagan.
Afterwards, he returned to Roanoke, where he became an award-winning writer. By the early 1950s, his specialty was state politics. He was the 1974 recipient of the Landmark Award for consistent excellence in reporting for The Times in 1973. He was particularly cited for his coverage of the 1973 Virginia Gubernatorial elections.
In 1975, Mr. Carico won, along with fellow reporters Don Harrison and Forest M. Landon, first place for in-depth investigative reporting in a competition sponsored by the Virginia Press Association. The three won for their computerized investigation of the financing of the 1973 gubernatorial campaign and loopholes in the law requiring campaign finance disclosures.
He was named to the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame in 1995.
Colleagues remember Mr. Carico for his hard work, fairness in reporting, his penchant for red baseball caps and his southwest Virginia twang. He was a fixture in the press corps covering Virginia politics, and he enjoyed a close acquaintance with many Virginia governors, beginning with Governor J. Lindsay Almond. When he retired, the Virginia General Assembly threw him a breakfast party that was attended by 300 people.
Mr. Carico received the Roanoke College Medal in 1977 and was recognized at the 1992 Sesquicentennial alumni awards banquet for his contributions to career, family and community.
Mr. Melville S. Carico received the Roanoke College Medal in 1977.