David Carr, aged 58, died last Thursday of lung cancer, the autopsy has revealed. It also showed heart disease was a contributing cause to his death. Carr collapsed in the Times newsroom and died later in hospital.
The journalist was the writer of the Media Equation for the New York Times. In his column he wrote about media related to culture and business.
On Thursday, hours before his death, he was taking part in a Times Talk in which Edward Snowden was being interviewed. Also on Wednesday he had tweeted about journalist Bob Simon who had just died, calling him an incomparable “television storyteller.”
David Carr’s death has been a shock to many as he managed to work until the last-minute. He was at the New York Times headquarters when he succumbed to the battle with the illness and died later in hospital of lung cancer at the age of 58.
Carr joined the newspaper back in 2002, starting as a business journalist. His column, Media Equation, was part of the business section on Mondays. He had been working for The New York magazine and The Atlantic Monthly as a contributor before joining the Times.
He wrote for most of his life, other writing jobs include the Washington City Paper where he was an editor and the Twin Cities Reader. He was also famous for writing about himself: in 2008 he wrote a memoir with details of his battle against cocaine, a book titled The Night of the Gun. In his account Carr tells how he went from being a cocaine addict to being a single dad with two twins to look after, overcoming his addiction, to then start writing a column for the Times.
Carr leaves a wife and three daughters behind. His wife, Jill Carr, works as an event planner and the couple lived together in New Jersey with their daughter Maddie.
In 2014, he started working at the Boston University as a professor teaching about the new reality of digital journalism. His was one of the first classes to analyze the media’s options to financially support themselves in a time when advertisers and readers prefer the digital world. Carr said that most education in journalism is not preparing the students for what they are going to face when they step into the real world.
Dean Baquet, the executive editor for the Times, had to inform the rest of the staff or their loss. Writing about Carr in a memo he said the late journalist had been the best media reporter of a whole generation and one of the Times newsroom leaders. Baquet also made a reference to Carr’s passion for his profession and added he was going to be greatly missed by readers and his Times family the same. The Times publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, referred to him as the most talented journalist that has ever worked for the paper.
David Carr, considered one of the most influential media business writers, was also considered a wonderful colleague at the New York Times. He was in the newsroom of the Times, doing what he knew best until the last moment when he lost the battle to lung cancer and died aged 58.
By Vanessa Pouso
The Daily Mail
Photo by Scott Beale – Flickr License