Journalist who worked in world’s war zones dies in Syria of asthma attack
NEW York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid, who won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Iraq and was detained in Libya for almost a week last year, died on Thursday in eastern Syria while on a reporting assignment.
The cause of his death apparently was an asthma attack, the Times said. Times photographer Tyler Hicks was with him and carried his body to Turkey, it said.
Shadid, a 43-year-old American of Lebanese descent, had a wife and two daughters. He had worked previously for The Associated Press, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. He won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 2004 and 2010 for his Iraq coverage.
In 2004, the Pulitzer Board praised "his extraordinary ability to capture, at personal peril, the voices and emotions of Iraqis as their country was invaded, their leader toppled and their way of life upended."
Shadid had been reporting in Syria for a week, gathering information on the resistance to the Syrian government, the Times said. The exact circumstances and location of his death were unclear, it said.
Shadid, long known for covering wars and other conflicts in the Middle East, was among four reporters detained for six days by Libyan forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi last March.
Speaking to an audience in Oklahoma City about a month after his release, he said he had a conversation with his father the night before he was detained.
"Maybe a little bit arrogantly, perhaps with a little bit of conceit, I said, 'It's OK, Dad. I know what I'm doing. I've been in this situation before,'" Shadid told the crowd of several dozen people. "I guess on some level I felt that if I wasn't there to tell the story, the story wouldn't be told."
Shadid's father, Buddy Shadid, who lives in Oklahoma City, said a colleague tried to revive his son after he was stricken Thursday but couldn't.
"They were in an isolated place. There was no doctor around," Buddy Shadid said. "It took a couple of hours to get him to a hospital in Turkey."
He said Anthony Shadid 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."