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Oklahoma City native Anthony Shadid, a New York Times correspondent, dies in Syria

by Juliana Keeping Published: February 17, 2012

Oklahoma City native and Pulitzer-Prize winning New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid has died in Syria at 43, his father, Buddy Shadid, told The Oklahoman on Thursday.

Shadid was on assignment for The Times in Syria when he died “from what appeared to be an asthma attack,” according to The New York Times.

Shadid's father said he received the news about 7 p.m. Thursday that his son had died.

Anthony Shadid was walking with New York Times staff photographer Tyler Hicks across the Syria-Turkey border at the time the asthma attack occurred, Buddy Shadid said.

“He's always had asthma,” Shadid said. “He was walking behind horses, which, you know, he is really allergic to, more than anything else.”

Buddy said his son had asthma medication with him but was overcome. Hicks attempted to resuscitate him but couldn't, Shadid said.

Hicks and Shadid were among four New York Times journalists reported missing on March 16 in Libya while covering the conflict between the government and rebel forces, according to The Times. They were released to Turkish diplomats by the Libyan government six days later.

Shadid often put his life at risk covering some of the most perilous situations in the world. While a correspondent for The Boston Globe in 2002, he was shot in the shoulder while gathering news in Ramallah, in the West Bank, according to The Times.

There was no hospital around the area where Anthony Shadid fell ill in Syria, his father said.

Buddy Shadid, a retired Oklahoma City dentist, said he didn't know his son was in Syria.

“He's always tried not to tell me whether or not he was going to a dangerous place,” he said.

“The Times always sends him to the hot spots because he's so fluent in Arabic,” Shadid said.

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by Juliana Keeping
Enterprise Reporter
Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award...
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