Jason Sheftell, popular 'Daily News' reporter, found dead
At the Daily News, a memo this morning from editor in chief Colin Myler has shocked and saddened the staff, with the news that the newspaper's well-liked and prolific real-estate editor and reporter, Jason Sheftell, has died.
"It is with great sadness and deep regret that I have to tell you that our beloved colleague, Jason Sheftell, was found dead this morning in his apartment," Myler wrote in his note to staff, which you can read in full below.
"He was an amazing, amazing guy," said a person who worked with Sheftell at the News, while another recalled seeing him in the newsroom just Friday.
Sheftell, who was 46, had been with the news since 2007. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Stamford, Conn., he was the son of a real-estate broker and a "world-renowned headache specialist," according to an article about him that was published by the paper several years ago.
Sheftell studied European history at the University of Pennsylvania, according to his Facebook profile. After earning his bachelor of arts degree from UPENN in 1989, Sheftell went on to receive a master's in American and United States studies from the University of Alabama, from which he graduated in 1997, according to his LinkedIn page.
"I love meeting people and talking to people, and I love cities," he said in the 2007 News article. "So this is the best possible job for a guy like me."
His last story, published Saturday, documented a trip to the Hamptons via seaplane and was full of aerial shots of the city.
As of mid-afternoon, there was no information about the circumstances of Sheftell's death available from the New York Police Department press office.
UPDATE: The News has published an obituary with additional details: "Sheftell was found unresponsive in his bed by an old college pal who had come by his West Village pad to check on him. ... Sheftell had been expected at a family gathering over the weekend and when he failed to show his worried kin called The News. A Daily News reporter dispatched to Sheftell’s home arrived on the heels of the reporter’s old friend, Kyle Carmon, who had a key to the apartment and found his friend dead."
Shortly after the initial publication of Capital's story, tributes to Sheftell from fellow reporters and members of the real estate industry began appearing on Twitter:
We will dearly miss @nydailynews reporter Jason Sheftell. His boundless enthusiasm for NYC radiated from every page he wrote.— Downtown Alliance (@DowntownNYC) June 17, 2013
We are incredibly sad about the loss of Jason Sheftell, a friend of the organization and a talented journalist— Corcoran Sunshine (@CorcSun) June 17, 2013
It is extremely heartbreaking to discover that my dear colleague Jason Sheftell has passed. He loved storytelling, writing @nydailynews RIP— David Yi (@seoulcialite) June 17, 2013
Here's Myler's full email:
It is with great sadness and deep regret that I have to tell you that our beloved colleague, Jason Sheftell, was found dead this morning in his apartment.
To describe Jason as a consummate professional would be an understatement not only to his talents as a journalist but also as a person. He had an enthusiasm and a zest for life that was infectious.
He was probably the most popular guy in the newsroom – everybody loved him because he was always there when you needed him. His dedication to his role as a real estate reporter was legendary.
He will leave a void that will never be filled in the Daily News family. To use his own phrase when his father passed a couple of years ago: ‘He was a good man, with a great heart, and that’s all we can ask of anyone.’
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family .
I will keep you informed about funeral arrangements as soon as we know.
Ed. Note: This article was updated to include additional details about Sheftell's death. Tom McGeveran contributed to this report.