ALBANY, N.Y. — A political pollster and longtime journalist who was just feet away from Jack Ruby when he shot Lee Harvey Oswald has died. Maurice Carroll was 86.

Carroll’s death from colon cancer Wednesday was announced by Quinnipiac (KWIHN’-ih-pee-ak) University.

Carroll, who went by Mickey, was raised in New Jersey and spent four decades as a journalist with The New York Times, New York Herald Tribune, Newark Star-Ledger and others. He covered the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination for the Herald Tribune and was close to Oswald in the Dallas police headquarters basement when Oswald was gunned down by Jack Ruby.

Carroll taught journalism and was most recently a Quinnipiac pollster.

Quinnipiac President John Lahey praised Carroll as a reporter in the finest tradition of American journalism.