‘Times’ reporter Anthony Shadid dead at 43; suffered asthma attack in Syria

Anthony Shadid. ()
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Anthony Shadid, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Middle East correspondent and regular on the New York Times' front page, died of an apparent asthma attack Thursday while on assignment in Syria. He was 43.

The Times, where Shadid has worked since 2009, most recently as Beirut bureau chief, broke the news of its reporter's sudden death around 9:30 last night in a story that was slated for A1. An emotional outpouring from the journalism community followed on Twitter.

In a note to staff that was forwarded to Capital, Times executive editor Jill Abramson wrote: "Anthony died as he lived — determined to bear witness to the transformation sweeping the Middle East and to testify to the suffering of people caught between government oppression and opposition forces."

You can read Abramson's full message at Politico.

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Just a little under a year ago, Shadid and three of his Times colleagues narrowly escaped death while covering the conflict in Libya, where they were captured and abused.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, which advocated for their release at the time, issued a statement about Shadid early this morning through its deputy director, Robert Mahoney.

"The death of Anthony Shadid is a tragic reminder of the price journalists pay to bring us the news from conflict zones," said Mahoney. "The lack of access to emergency medical care after a car accident or sickness can prove just as dangerous as crossfire. Shadid knew the risks but chose to go because that's what reporters do. We mourn his loss and offer our condolences to his family and friends."

Shadid, a Lebanese American, has a new book, House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East, due out next month from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He was scheduled to promote it on March 27, its release date, at the Barnes & Noble on the Upper West Side. A spokesperson for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Several Times staffers Capital spoke with shortly after the news went public said they were heartbroken. Reached via email late last night, a spokesperson for the paper said there was no word yet on a memorial or any other official remembrances. The Times' foreign editor, Joe Kahn, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE: Abramson said in a note to staff around 11:30 Friday morning: "There will be a brief gathering in the 3d floor newsroom atrium this afternoon at 12:30 in memory of our colleague Anthony Shadid. Certainly there will be time for other events in the weeks ahead to mourn his passing and celebrate his life, but we think we need a moment together today."