As editor of The Dallas Morning News, I worked with Tracey in a number of roles. I recruited him from the Orange County Register for a position in our Mexico City Bureau. At the time, he also was being aggressively recruited by the Los Angeles Times.
While at the paper, Tracey quickly rose to bureau chief in Mexico. In this role, he covered with great skill a Mexican presidential race and number other demanding stories.
When our paper persuaded the Cuban government to grant us a bureau in Havana, Tracey was our first, second and third choice for that job. Both in Mexico and later in Cuba, Tracey established a reputation for cutting edge and non-sensational coverage. His work was courageous and sober. As Mexican bureau chief, I asked him to lead his team and cover the country’s presidential race as aggressively as we would cover a Texas governor’s race. He did so. In Cuba, I asked him to try to capture the essence of the country as it existed and also to give our readers a sense of its post-Castro possibility. He succeeded in this mission.
In addition to being a first-rate journalist, Tracey was an able administrator. He handled finances responsibly, and also did a good job overseeing other reporters and freelancers under his direction.
I always found Tracey to be an open, straight-forward colleague; someone you could always rely on to do what he said he would do.