Most everybody likes to see his name in the paper, and Tribune editor Neil Morgan certainly takes care of his old friend Dick Cramer in that regard. When Cramer's medical instruments firm, IMED, was sold to Warner-Lambert last June for $465 million cash, the news was announced in a front-page, banner-headlined story in both the news rack green sheet and the home edition — and was followed a day later by another front-page feature on Cramer himself. Since then, Morgan has written about Cramer more than two dozen times in his daily column on the front page of the Tribune's Metro section. He's told us when Cramer ate dinner at Gustav Anders restaurant to celebrate the sale (June 14), remodeled his oceanfront La Jolla home (June 28). received the news that the board of directors of both firms had approved the sale (July 22), celebrated again at the Tambo de Oro restaurant (August 23), and purchased a new Citation II jet (December 7). He's also told us when Cramer spent $300 on an unseen art canvas (December 23), moved into new offices in the Wells Fargo Bank Building downtown (February 2), and new to Manhattan, along with twenty of his IMED chums to celebrate his fiftieth birthday (March 31). And two weeks ago, when Cramer and his wife Alice were slightly injured in the crash of his private plane in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (he cracked two of his vertebrae and she her tailbone), the news made the Tribune's front page. Prominently displayed near the top of the page, the fourteen-inch-long article carried the rather ominous headline, "San Diego Businessman Injured In Plane Crash," featured a photograph of Cramer, and delved a bit into the history of IMED — even though the injuries were so minor that Dick and Alice Cramer were both well enough to take the plane's pilot out to dinner the following night.
The Morgan-Cramer connection? It goes back about eleven years to when Cramer had just lost control of IVAC — another medical instruments firm he had founded - in a proxy battle. The Tribune carried a series of articles about Cramer's predicament, and Cramer and Morgan (then only the Trib's columnist and travel editor) became friends. A short while thereafter, they were having lunch together at the Grant Grill downtown. "He began telling me about this new company he was putting together," Morgan recalls. "He said he wasn't sure what he was going to call it but that it had to have an i in it. I ask.ed him 'What type of business it would be, and be said he believed the future for medical technology still looked bright and he would stay m that field. So I said, 'Why not call it IMED?'"