RIP David Carr (1958-2015)


David CarrFrom The New York Times

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David Carr, a writer who wriggled away from the demon of drug addiction to become a name-brand media columnist at The New York Times, and the star of “Page One,” a documentary about the newspaper, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 58.

Mr. Carr collapsed in The Times newsroom, where he was found shortly before 9 p.m. He was taken to Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Earlier in the evening, he moderated a panel discussion about the film “Citizenfour” with its principal subject, Edward J. Snowden; the film’s director, Laura Poitras; and Glenn Greenwald, a journalist.

Mr. Carr wrote about cultural subjects for The Times; he initiated the feature known as The Carpetbagger, a regular report on the news and nonsense from the red carpet during awards season. He championed offbeat movies like “Juno,” with Ellen Page, and he interviewed stars both enduring and evanescent — Woody Harrelson, Neil Young, Michael Cera. More recently, however, he was best known for The Media Equation, a Monday column in The Times that analyzed news and developments in publishing, television, social media — for which he was an early evangelist — and other mass communications platforms. His plainspoken style was sometimes blunt, and searingly honest about himself. The effect was both folksy and sophisticated, a voice from a shrewd and well-informed skeptic.

Before joining The Times, Mr. Carr was a contributing writer for The Atlantic Monthly and New York magazine. In 2000, he was the media writer for Inside.com, a website focusing on the business of entertainment and publishing.

Before coming to New York, he served for five years as editor of Washington City Paper, an alternative weekly in Washington, D.C. From 1993 to 1995, he was editor of The Twin Cities Reader, a Minneapolis-based alternative weekly, and he wrote a media column there as well.

On Aug. 5, 2008, Mr. Carr’s book “The Night of the Gun” was published by Simon and Schuster. The book is a memoir of addiction and recovery that used reporting to fact-check the past. Much of the data he collected, including videos, documents and pictures, is available online.

Mr. Carr lived in Montclair, N.J., with his wife, Jill Rooney Carr, an event planner, and their daughter Maddie. He also has twin daughters, Erin and Meagan.

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