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Celebrated San Francisco P.I. dies after attempted robbery

Jack Palladino worked for the Black Panthers, Bill Clinton and the Hearst family. He was 76.

Jack Palladino, a celebrated private investigator who worked for radicals, celebrities and former President Bill Clinton, died Monday in San Francisco after suffering a head injury during an alleged robbery attempt, relatives and authorities said. He was 76.

Image: Private Investigator Jack Palladino, August 12, 1982
Private Investigator Jack Palladino, August 12, 1982.Eric Luse / San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images file

The alleged crime occurred Thursday shortly before 5 p.m. when Palladino stepped out of his home in the city’s Haight-Asbury neighborhood and a man tried to steal his camera, according to local police and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Witnesses told police they saw Palladino struggling with a suspect over the camera. When the suspect’s car sped away, the investigator fell to the ground, leaving him critically injured, a grandchild, Ash Ivanov, told NBC News.

Lawrence Thomas, 24, and Tyjone Flournoy, 23, were arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery, aggravated kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and other crimes, police said.

Jail records show that both men are being held at San Francisco County jail. Neither of them has a lawyer yet, a spokeswoman for the public defender’s office said.

After four decades as an investigator, Palladino was set to retire with his wife and colleague after a final case when the alleged crime occurred, the Chronicle reported.

Palladino launched his career in the 1970s after attending the University of California Berkeley.

Among Palladino’s high-profile clients were the family of newspaper heiress Patty Hearst after she was kidnapped by leftist militants; Clinton during his first presidential campaign; Black Panther leader Huey Newton; and disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.