The world is a less witty place without David Carr's sharp tongue in it. The news of his passing comes just one day after the world lost the great 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon, 73, in a tragic car crash.
Carr, a journalist and columnist for the New York Times, whose wit and formidable talent was hailed by all, collapsed in the paper's newsroom and was later that evening pronounced dead at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital. He was only 58 years old.
It was just earlier on Thursday evening when Carr moderated a discussion about the film Citizenfour, with Edward Snowden (via satellite) and director Laura Poitras.
The cause of Carr's death is still a mystery at this point.
Carr, who was a media critic for the Times, began writing for the paper in 2002 and was widely known for many things, including one of our personal favorites, his "Carpetbagger" column discussing the awards season's red carpet. He also wrote the "Media Equation" column and covered all kinds of other culture subjects for the Times.
Carr was the epitome of a true and pure journalist. He embodied the "get it first and get it right" mentality we all try to live up to as journalists.
Since the news of his passing broke, praises and sorrow-filled tweets and quotes have been rolling in like waves.
Of all the cats, David Carr was the coolest. He will be missed.— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) February 13, 2015
And you can read a Torrent of Tributes over at Mother Jones.
Carr was not what you would consider a typical Times reporter, according to him and his colleagues. In 2008, he published a memoir titled, The Night of the Gun, in which he chronicled his addiction to drugs and his life as a jailbird, an abusive boyfriend and a negligent parent before getting his life on track.
He said in an interview with The Daily Beast in 2011, "I'm not what you would call the classic Timesman. It's sort of a contextual thing: You have this button-down ivy growing everywhere, and this oddly shaped tumbleweed comes rolling through the middle of it. I joke about looking homeless, but my neck is bent, my voice is torn up, and there's always schmaltz on my shirt."
Spoken like a true New Yorker, although he was a Minnesota native who currently lived in New Jersey, and was a true Timesman, in my opinion. It is truly amazing the heights to which he rose, given the depths from which he came.
He always had a good and inspiring message for young journalists. He told graduating UC Berkeley journalism students last year, "Being a journalist, I never feel bad talking to journalism students because it's a grand, grand caper. You get to leave, go talk to strangers, ask them anything, come back, type up their stories, edit the tape. That's not gonna retire your loans quickly as it should, and it's not gonna turn you into a person who's worried about what kind of car they should buy, but that's kind of as it should be, I mean, it beats working."
Carr is survived by his wife, Jill Rooney Carr, and his daughters Maddie, Erin and Meagan.
I could write for days about his accomplishments and life. But I'll leave you with one of the most quoted and now haunting lines of his biography, "I now inhabit a life I don't deserve, but we walk this earth feeling we are frauds. The trick is to be grateful and hope the caper doesn't end anytime soon."
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