Obituary: Sharon Herbaugh

Sharon Herbaugh, journalist: born Lawar, Colorado 28 January 1954; married (one daughter; marriage dissolved); died near Kabul 16 April 1993.

Sharon Herbaugh, the Bureau Chief of the Associated Press in Islamabad, was the bravest of the brave. Returning to Afghanistan again and again, despite admonitions from fellow journalists that Kabul was too dangerous, the world was no longer interested in the story and that there was not even running water to wash her hair, Herbaugh insisted that she had to cover the story herself.

On Friday an Afghan army helicopter carrying her and others smashed into a mountainside north of Kabul. There were no survivors among the 15 people on board, who included Natasha Singh, an Indian-born American freelance journalist, and their interpreter Mohammed Rafie. Initial reports spoke of an engine malfunction.

Herbaugh loved Afghanistan and its people and hated the bloodshed that was unfolding there. Her last story was called 'The Tragedy of Afghanistan', in which she wrote about the hell that Kabul has become after a year of civil war. She had also covered Pakistan intensely, first as a news editor of the AP bureau in New Delhi from March 1988 and then Bureau Chief in Islamabad since February 1990. Her six-year involvement with the Subcontinent meant that she had hundreds of friends in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Her office in Islamabad was the first place to touch base for visiting foreign journalists.

She started work for AP in 1978 after graduating. She was transferred to Dallas in 1979 and Houston the next year where she worked until 1986 when she joined the international desk in New York. Sharon Herbaugh was a workaholic, a big risk-taker, like any good journalist, and meticulous about her work to the point of obsession. She wrote beautiful prose and could transform normal, dull wire- service copy into incredibly lucid stories. Her stamina was extraordinary.

A quiet, unassuming woman, she was a great friend, a generous host and a warm and extremely caring person. Her good looks, her elegant style of dress and her long blond hair earned her the nick-name 'the Blonde Bombshell' from some colleagues. She will always be remembered for the dedication she brought to her craft, the joy she gave to her friends and her straight, bluff American manner.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on