Cover photo for John J. DiStaso's Obituary
John J. DiStaso Profile Photo
1954 John 2022

John J. DiStaso

February 18, 1954 — April 21, 2022

John DiStaso, the most experienced political writer in New Hampshire and often referred to as the "dean" of the state's political press corps, has died after a prolonged illness. He was 68.

DiStaso was a native of Paterson, New Jersey, where he attended public schools before graduating from Villanova University in 1975. He received his master's degree from William Paterson University in 1979.

DiStaso, who spent the past seven years as a political reporter for WMUR, began his New Hampshire journalism career as the Seacoast area correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader. As a staff reporter and later the senior political reporter for the Union Leader from early 1980 through the spring of 2014, he covered many public policy issues and dozens of political campaigns and candidates.

He was also deeply involved in the Union Leader's State House coverage of major stories, including the Seabrook nuclear power plant, the landmark Claremont school funding lawsuit and the historic impeachment and subsequent acquittal of a former state Supreme Court Chief Justice.

His weekly political column began in 1982 and became a "must-read" for anyone interested in New Hampshire politics. He continued that tradition during his time with WMUR through the "New Hampshire Primary Source" column, which appeared each Thursday morning in thousands of subscriber inboxes.

DiStaso interviewed four sitting presidents and countless candidates of both political parties. In all, he closely covered 11 New Hampshire primaries and was planning to cover a 12th.

He has appeared on television multiple times as a panel journalist in several nationally televised presidential primary debates as well as in many Granite State Debates. During his tenure at WMUR, he wrote daily for and appeared often on WMUR-TV to provide analysis and context for political stories reported by our television political reporters.

From April 2014 until joining WMUR in April 2015, he was the news editor of the New Hampshire Journal political website.

He is survived by his wife, Diane, and sons, Dante and Nicholas. He and his family have lived in New Boston since 1993.

SERVICES: Calling hours are Saturday (4/30) from 1 to 4 p.m. at Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, 1799 Elm St., Manchester. If you are unvaccinated, please wear a mask. Masks will be available inside the door to the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to support cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284, or via
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John J. DiStaso, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Calling Hours (If unvaccinated, please wear a mask)

Saturday, April 30, 2022

1:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory

1799 Elm St, Manchester, NH 03104

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