Oklahoma City native and Pulitzer-Prize winning New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid has died in Syria at 43,
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
“He's always had asthma,” Shadid said. “He was walking behind horses, which, you know, he is
Buddy said his son had asthma medication with him but was overcome. Hicks attempted to
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.
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,” Sha
“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.