David Carr dead: Popular New York Times columnist dies suddenly at paper’s newsroom

Carr became the unexpected star of Page One, a 2011 documentary

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David Carr, the popular New York Times media columnist, died suddenly at the paper’s newsroom on Tuesday evening. He was 58.

A caustic, charismatic commentator, Carr became the unexpected star of Page One, a 2011 documentary about the Times. As well as writing the weekly “Media Equation” column, he was also the author of a 2008 memoir, Night of the Gun, in which he reported his own struggle with crack cocaine addiction, and his subsequent recovery.

In a note to the newspaper’s staff, Executive Editor Dean Baquet described Carr as, “the finest media reporter of his generation, a remarkable and funny man who was one of the leaders of our newsroom. He was our biggest champion, and his unending passion for journalism and for truth will be missed by his family at The Times, by his readers around the world, and by people who love journalism.”

Carr joined the Times in 2002 after stints as the editor of Washington City Paper and, before that, of the Twin Cities Reader in Minneapolis. On Tuesday evening, he moderated a panel discussion about the Oscar-nominated documentary Citizenfour with its subject, the NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

According to the Times’ own report, he later collapsed in the newsroom before being taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He is survived by his wife Jill, their daughter Maddie and two other twin daughters, Erin and Meagan. “A group of us were with his wife, Jill, and one of his daughters, at the hospital,” Baquet wrote. “His daughter Erin said he was special, and that he was.”