LOS ANGELES — Susan Rasky, an award-winning congressional correspondent who mentored a generation of young political journalists as a senior lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, died Sunday at her home in El Cerrito, Calif. She was 61 and had breast cancer.

Rasky was a familiar sight at California political events, wrestling an armload of papers and trailing a gaggle of students, whom she nudged to join in news conferences and panel discussions.

She grew interested in journalism at Berkeley, where she studied history. After graduating in 1974, she earned her master’s degree in economic history at the London School of Economics.

Moving to Washington, she covered the economy for five years for the Bureau of National Affairs, a publisher of trade journals, before joining Reuters, covering Capitol Hill and the White House. In 1984 she went to The New York Times, working as an editor in New York and Washington before becoming the newspaper’s congressional correspondent. She shared a 1990 George Polk Award for her coverage of Capitol Hill.

The next year, Rasky joined the faculty at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she taught political and government reporting. Reporters and lawmakers visiting the campus often found themselves collared and thrust in front of Rasky’s classes, where she helped lead the student interrogation.

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