His Dark Alliance series of investigative pieces in 1998 ignited controversy that ultimately cost him his career.
Over several much-criticized articles and later a book, he linked the CIA, the Nicaraguan Contras, and cocaine sold on the streets.
His paper, the San Jose Mercury News, backed down from the story and Webb committed suicide in 2004, but ultimately many of his bigger discoveries were proven true.
He was born in Corona, California to a military family.
Jeremy Renner was cast to portray him in a film based on his reporting entitled Kill the Messenger.