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Legendary journalist and author, Pete Hamill, dies at 85

3 years 10 months 1 week ago Wednesday, August 05 2020 Aug 5, 2020 August 05, 2020 12:14 PM August 05, 2020 in News
Source: NPR
Photo: The New York Times

Renowned journalist and author Pete Hamill passed away at the age of 85 Wednesday, August 5 in his hometown of New York City.

NPR reports that Hamill died only days after a fall.

"He fell on Saturday and died this morning of heart and kidney failure," his longtime literary agent Esther Newberg told reporters in an email, adding, "One of a kind."

Hamill, known for his outstanding work ethic and determined nature, worked his way up from newspaper delivery boy to tabloid writer to finally becoming a respected journalist for news outlets such as New York Daily News and the New York Post.

A high-school dropout from Brooklyn, Hamill aspired to work among the ranks of reputable reporters and columnists like Nora Ephron, Carl Bernstein, and William F. Buckley, known for their ability to not only pack a verbal punch, but consistently keep the interest of their intellectual audiences. 

During a 2011 interview with Fresh Air, Hamill reflected on these esteemed writers, saying, "These were not people who thought the audience was stupid. They thought the audience was smart, and they wrote up to the audience instead of down. And I think that's the kind of paper fading mainly because editors are afraid of offending anyone and the result is often a bland kind of porridge."

Throughout his career, Hamill covered everything from the civil rights movement to 9/11, wrote for most of the leading magazines of his day and authored twenty books, including his acclaimed 1995 memoir, A Drinking Life, that detailed his decision to quite alcohol.

He's survived by two children and his wife, journalist Fukiko Aoki Hamill.

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