Anthony Shadid, New York Times journalist, dies on assignment in Syria


Anthony Shadid, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times, died Thursday in Syria aged 43.

The cause of Shadid's death "appeared to be an asthma attack," The New York Times wrote.

According to the Times, Shadid had been reporting in Syria for a week, gathering information on the resistance to the Syrian government, accompanied by photographer Tyler Hicks.

More from GlobalPost: Anthony Shadid: the best of his generation

Shadid and Hicks recently entered Syria's Idlib Province; smugglers on horseback had helped them through the area, which borders Turkey.

Hicks told the newspaper that Shadid suffered one bout of asthma the first night, followed by a more severe attack a week later on the way out. "I stood next to him and asked if he was okay, and then he collapsed," Hicks told the Times.

Shadid's father, Buddy Shadid, told The Associated Press on Thursday his son had asthma all his life and had medication with him.

"[But] he was walking to the border because it was too dangerous to ride in the car," the father said. "He was walking behind some horses — he's more allergic to those than anything else — and he had an asthma attack."

The Times' executive editor Jill Abramson sent the following email to all staff, reported by Politico:

"I have heartbreaking news. Anthony Shadid, our brilliant and beloved colleague, has died, apparently of an asthma attack, while reporting inside Syria. Anthony, accompanied by Tyler Hicks, was on his way out of the country, heading toward the border to Turkey, when he suffered the attack. Tyler carried Anthony out of Syria into Turkey.

"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. He has spent much of his storied career chronicling the Mideast; his empathy for its citizens' struggles and his deep understanding of their culture and history set his writing apart. He was their poet and their champion. His work will stand as a testament.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family tonight: his wife, Nada Bakri; his son and daughter; and his parents."

Bakri is also a Times journalist.

"Anthony was one of our generation's finest reporters," Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger reportedly said in a statement. "He was also an exceptionally kind and generous human being. He brought to his readers an up-close look at the globe's many war-torn regions, often at great personal risk. We were fortunate to have Anthony as a colleague, and we mourn his death."

Shadid, an American of Lebanese origin, won Pulitzers for his reporting from Iraq in 2004 and again in 2010, according to Reuters. He was working for the Washington Post at the time.

Previously, he reported from Libya during the uprising of Muammar Gaddafi — he was one of four Times journalists detained for a week in Libya — from the West Bank — where he was shot in the shoulder while on assignment for the Boston Globe — and from other conflict zones in the Middle East.

He began his career with the Associated Press. He also authored several books, the latest of which, titled "House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East," will be published next month by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

According to a Times obituary, Shadid also received the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ award for deadline writing (2004), the Overseas Press Club’s Hal Boyle Award for best newspaper or wire service reporting from abroad (2004), and the George Polk Award for foreign reporting (2003).

Here's a storify of responses to Shadid's death:

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