One of the media industry's most high-profile and insightful figures, David Carr of The New York Times died tonight at 58 after collapsing in the newsroom.
"He was the finest media reporter of his generation, a remarkable and funny man who was one of the leaders of our newsroom," wrote executive editor Dean Baquet in a memo to his staff tonight. "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."
The Times' article did not give a cause of death, but Baquet's memo said that Carr "died suddenly tonight after collapsing in our newsroom. A group of us were with his wife, Jill, and one of his daughters, at the hospital."
Carr chronicled his long-running struggles with substance abuse in a candid 2008 memoir called The Night of the Gun. In the book and its associated website, Carr described how addictions to cocaine and alcohol initially derailed his family life, but his hard road to sobriety allowed him to reunite with his twin daughters, raise another daughter with his wife and achieve great success in his career.
"You are always told to recover for yourself, but reproduction has an enormously simplifying effect on life," Carr wrote. "Are you willing to destroy others, including little babies, in order to feed the monster within?"
Carr rose to the national stage after working as a writer and editor in the alternative press, first at Minneapolis' Twin Cities Reader and then at Washington City Paper in the nation's capital. He then wrote for The Atlantic Monthly and New York magazine before joining The New York Times in 2002. His Media Equation column was a Monday must-read for media professionals of all stripes.
Heartbroken about David Carr's death. Great journalist, but more important, great human being. Will miss him.— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) February 13, 2015
David Carr, dead at 58. The greatest colleague, mentor and friend to everyone. So, so sad. http://t.co/39jZjCATAy— Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) February 13, 2015