The writer who personified Fort Worth Weekly‘s willingness to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted died last night at her home, surrounded by her loved ones.

Betty Lee Bauer Brink was 80.

She was born and raised in Fort Worth, and was a civil rights activist in the 1960s before becoming a journalist.


She began working at the Weekly soon after it opened in 1996. Brink earned numerous awards during her stellar career as an investigative journalist.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at Unity Church of Fort Worth, 5501 Trail Lake Drive.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Betty Brink Journalism Scholarship to support journalism students. Contributions may be sent to EECU, 1617 W. 7th St., Fort Worth TX 76102.

Fort Worth Weekly will profile Brink in this week’s cover story. Watch for it on Wednesday.



  1. Aside from being a model journalist, Betty was an exemplary human being. Warm, thoughtful, funny and smart all while somehow being as tenacious and tough as any reporter I’ve met since. Those of us just entering the world of journalism in the late ’90s could not have picked better coworkers to learn from than those at the Weekly at that time and Betty was our heart and conscience. RIP, Betty and thanks for your years of dedication and everything you passed on to us.

  2. I will miss you Betty Brink, personally and professionally. You helped uncover many areas of deficiencies in our District, FWISD. Because of you many things have changed for the better and your efforts will impact many students now and in the future.

    • Betty would be the first to tell you how wrong andmisleading your statement is Carlos. NOTHING has changed at FWISD. New Super but same old Board = continuing and disappointing corruption. With her passing, we have lost a champion for truth.

      • Sentiments aside, Betty may have also questioned Vaquez’ stance on the environment in his campaign against Lon Burnam. A voice of reason like hers is rare in a conservative backwater like FW.

  3. Betty was very sharp and feisty Sorry that she is no longer with us. I really didn’t agree with some of her positions, but her articles were always very interesting ,detailed,and well researched. The writing was superb and on a level with some of the better writers at the Atlantic, Vanity Fair, New Yorker etc except she had a good deal more “life experience” and it showed. FWW should have a retrospective

  4. Fort Worth and north Texas has lost a wonderful community advocate. I am proud to have called her a friend for over a decade. So long Betty, we will miss you…and God Bless.

  5. Thank you all for the kind words. In addition to being a wonderful journalist, she was an awesome mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt and cared deeply for ALL family members. She will be missed. Safe journey ma!!!!

  6. I got to know Betty quite well working with her, and she was quite a character to be around. A lot of people know of Betty’s work and think she must have been some serious person who concentrated on taking down those wreaking havoc on the less fortunate. I loved that side, but I loved better the Betty who would laugh her ass off at all of that stuff. “Can you believe they would be that stupid,” was a line she loved, and she laughingly used it when some politician or whoever would react to one of her stories with fear in their voices and their eyes and digging a bigger hole than the one Betty left them in.

    I moved to Cleveland last year, and had occasion to deal with the US Bureau of Prisons for a story I was working on. I was talking to their media spokesperson in Washington, and somehow Fort Worth came up, and the guy asked me if “I knew that lady at the Fort Worth Weekly.” He was, of course, referring to her stories on Carswell Prison and all the bad things done to inmates there.

    “You mean Betty Brink?” I answered, and he said yes, he was referring to Betty. He then said something sort of funny. “Everyone gets really nervous around here when they find out she has called the office,” he said.

    I passed that on to Betty, and we laughed our butts off about it. “I guess I’ll have to call them every day from now on,” she laughed. “Not for anything in particular. Just call.”

    That’s the last time I spoke with her. She was smart, engaging, funny, willing to help, willing to boss you around, and most importantly, she loved to do things. I learned from Betty that it is not that important to think about things in some abstract way, but to get out and do them. Know what you are writing about by knowing the people you are writing about very well. Funny how simple all that is.

  7. I choose not to make a mockery of Betty’s passing, unlike Carlos Vasquez and “JN”, aka Judy Needham, both of whom were burrs in Betty’s saddle! I will refrain from delving into the BS that is FWISD, who Betty was spot-on about these last 3 yrs, in terms of the Palazzolo vs FWISD case! All I have to say is that death and dying normally brings out the guilt in people, especially when the guilt was imposed by one of the greatest investigative journalist of our time! Yes “JN”, she did her research and very well I might add, enough for you to repeatedly ignore her requests for comments, but instead resort to calling her names for being a brazen reporter! And Carlos, you DIDN’T know her professionally or otherwise to have the right to say “I will miss her”. You and JN don’t have the inkling of decency to claim any “warm and fuzzies” about Betty, because you caused her much internal pain…pain from your lies and injustice toward a man, Joe P, whom she cared deeply about as a leader, father, educator, and purveyor of truth. You, Mr. Vasquez, tried to discredit Betty a few times with your misleading information, and just like her, she called you on it and reported it like she knew it…by holding you accountable! And JN and Carlos, I would rather lose 10 of you and still have Betty with us!!! Unfortunately, it’s always the beautiful and spirited angels that he takes home with Him, so they can continue to watch over us, as we fight for truth and justice in His name! Sweet Betty, we are counting on your powerful spirit to guide us through the tough journey ahead, as we all continue to “right the wrong” that you surfaced with FWISD. In your name and in your honor; we will continue this bout until the end, and we will celebrate the victory that is coming soon, all because of your courage and stamina to fight for what is right. Rest in peace Betty! Not even in death will you be silenced, because we shall speak your voice with pride and gratitude. Thank you for sharing your kindness, sincerity, spirit and your life-fire with me, even if it was for a short time. I will never forget you!

    • Dear Frustrated: (Chill-O-Gram and Tolerance Alert)
      Oh dear,( where to start). I am JN and I am not “Judy Needham”–whoever that is. I don’t live in Fort Worth. I do read the FWW and i don’t agree with all the political stances, but I find it informative and entertaining. i really admired Betty. She was uncannily informed and provided a thoughtful rebuttal to defend her positions. May be you should just accept a little praise from folks outside your inner circle for what it is…. Have a nice day and Happy Holidays.

      • Yeah right. Betty worked tirelessly to expose the truth about the fraud and corruption within FWISD and long time School Board members Needham, Sims, Robbins and newcomer Jackson. More recently she worked to expose Vasquez who was supported by Needham in his run against Lon Burnham. Betty received an award for her coverage of the Arlington Heights/Palazzolo scandal and remained baffled by Sutherland’s move to terminate Palazzolo without the second hearing ordered by the Commissioner. She was profoundly disappointed when Sutherland admitted the Board had never discussed terminating Palazzolo, yet refused to go on record to correct the injustice resulting in the current litigation. Betty had hoped to live to see the trial in person. Now she has the best seat in the house.

        • Thanks for elevating me to the Fort Worth School Board. (lmao) What kind of class-less narcissitic Troll uses the opportunity of an obituary/remembrance to pick a phoney fight with a misidentified commenter? My office mates are laughing their fannies off, even as I type. Be gone, “ankle-biter,” before you offend nice people your paranoid hallucinations … AND You continue to have a nice day now…

  8. Betty wrote a story on my mother several years ago. It dealt with a lawsuit my mom had against a doctor and HMO. Betty was amazing and made my mom feel wonderful during this trying time. I’m sad to see her go. God bless you Betty and peace to your family.

  9. With apologies to William S:
    Goodnight, sweet princess
    And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

    Sorry to see you pass, Betty. Your vinegar is already missed. Have a great trip.

  10. Betty was a good friend and one of my favorite people. I’ve got some great memories of the days when we worked together at the Weekly, especially when we got to work a story together. Like the time we were discovered attending a Fort Worth Star-Telegram reception for a newly hired Richard Green. As we were invited to leave, Betty looked up at our escort, smiled sweetly and said, “Can we finish our wine?” He wasn’t amused. And, there was the time when Betty and I beat the FBI in searching for evidence of a stalker who was threatening Weekly staffers. The FBI agents weren’t too pleased, either. And, the time Betty insisted on buying me a sandwich when I was working on a breaking story on press day because, she said, she didn’t care what the editor said, I had to eat. Betty looked like everybody’s grandma — a better disguise than going undercover. She always flashed her sweetest smile just before she asked the question her interviewee didn’t want to answer. Betty was always so strong and determined to uncover truth and make things right. I can’t believe she’s gone. I miss her already. — P.A. Humphrey

    • Well said, P.A.

      One more thing. My daughter is 22 years old and had a big interest in the presidential election this year, and we were discussing women’s right issues. She knew a little, and asked me questions, so I sent her links to some of the stories Betty had written through the years and recently (about Texas and Planned Parenthood funding for one). My daughter read what I sent, was energized and gained lots of knowledge and took a great interest in the 2012 election, the first time she could vote. She asked me about Betty, including her age. I told her a bit about Betty, and that she was about 80. My daughter answered, “God, she’s had to deal with this shit for a long time.”

  11. I loved reading all of your comments, Betty would too. Even the bickering ones:-) thank you all for the kind words and memories shared. My grandma was the most courageous woman I have ever met and I am so grateful of all those days I got to sit at the office with her (even though at the time I was bored out of my mind, not really a playground for a young gal) and watch her work on her many battles. Just think of all the interviews she will have in heaven!!! Love you Betty.

  12. You took the words right out of my mouth Afton. Thank you all for the kind words for my grandma. She really was an amazing woman. She taught us all so much: be compassionate, be strong, love with very thing you have, laugh, stand up for what you believe in, and most importantly: vote democratic 🙂
    I love you so much Betty, and I’ll miss you everyday. I couldn’t have asked for a better grandma. -staci jean-

  13. You took the words right out of my mouth Afton. Thank you all for the kind words for my grandma. She really was an amazing woman. She taught us all so much: be compassionate, be strong, love with very thing you have, laugh, stand up for what you believe in, and most importantly: vote democratic 🙂
    I love you so much Betty, and I’ll miss you everyday. I couldn’t have asked for a better grandma.

  14. I didn’t know Betty for nearly as long as everyone else. I’m just a 26-year-old upstart who’s worked at the Weekly full-time for less than a year. Unlike many veteran journalists that I’ve known, however, Betty treated me like a complete equal. As far as I could tell, she didn’t have a condescending bone in her body. I took over some of the stories that Betty would have written, and she was more complimentary of my work than it probably deserved. Every time I would tell her that so-and-so had talked about how talented she was, she’d always deflect the praise and bring it back to what I was doing. Betty wasn’t just a great journalist, she was a first-class human being and a woman who has always been ahead of her times, as evidenced by the cover story this week. Wherever I go in this career, I’ll take memories of her indomitable spirit with me.