Double Pulitzer winner apparently suffered asthma attack while reporting on resistance to Syrian regime
The New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid, who won the Pulitzer prize for his coverage of Iraq and was detained in Libya for almost a week last year, has died in eastern Syria while on a reporting assignment.
The cause of his death apparently was an asthma attack, his newspaper said, adding that New York Times photographer Tyler Hicks was with him and carried his body to Turkey.
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 New York Times said, adding that the exact circumstances and location of his death were unclear.
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.’
“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 from the asthma attack 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 carried medication with him. “[But] he was walking to the border because it was too dangerous to ride in the car. He was walking behind some horses he’s more allergic to those than anything else and he had an asthma attack.”
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