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

by Juliana Keeping Published: February 17, 2012

Anthony Shadid's family — including his wife, journalist Nada Bakri, and his son Malik — are devastated, his father said.

“He died doing what he wanted to do. He lived and breathed journalism,” Shadid said.

“All I can say is he lived his life like he wanted to and he died reporting. That doesn't make it easier for me or anyone who loved him.”

Tributes for the hometown hero poured in on Twitter from around the world as news of his death spread.

Shadid was an inspiration to journalists everywhere, said Kelly Dyer Fry, editor of The Oklahoman.

“We are heartsick over the death of Anthony,” Fry said. “He's a hometown hero who traveled the world to cover the news. He stopped in for a visit not long ago. His passion for journalism is inspiring to us all. Blessings to his family.”

Shadid spoke on April 7, 2011, to an appreciative homecoming audience of about 250 people who gathered at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum to welcome him back to the city where he was raised and to hear about the brutality he and the three other New York Times journalists recently endured while being held captive.

“The work he was doing every day was amazing, telling the stories of people who were dealing with terrorism in the Middle East,” said Kari Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. “He allowed them to have a voice, so that you could feel the impact of terrorism. He was remarkable.”

Surviving relatives include his parents, Buddy and Rhonda, and a daughter, Laila, from his first marriage, The Times said.

Shadid 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 in 2010 for his coverage of Iraq.

Shadid is the author of two books: “Legacy of the Prophet: Despots, Democrats and the New Politics of Islam,” published in 2000, and “Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War,” published in 2005. A third book “House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family and a Lost Middle East” is due out this spring, according to his website.

Contributing: Randy Ellis and Bryan Painter

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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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