David Carr, 1956-2015

By Regina Walker 02/13/15

The celebrated journalist and author had moderated a panel with Edward Snowden just hours before he collapsed.

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On February 12, 2015 shortly before 9 p.m., David Carr, noted New York Times columnist and celebrated book author, was found unconscious in the Times' newsroom. Carr was later pronounced dead at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. He was 58.

Carr was known as the author of the Media Equation column for the Times. Deeply regarded and respected, he was a journalist at the top of his field.

He was also the author of The Night of the Gun. In this memoir, he used his journalistic skills to interview those closest to him to recreate a period of his life when his addiction to crack and alcohol nearly killed him.

Carr recounted with an eerie and almost detached voice, the horrors of his dependence on substances that led to the loss of his home, children, health and career. "What if I told you I was a fat thug who beat up women and sold bad coke? Now what if I said that I was a recovered crack addict who got custody of my twin girls, got us off welfare and raised them? Both are the story of my life," he wrote.

The book spoke not only of the near total destruction by addiction of a unique and extremely talented journalist and father but the slow rebuilding of the man Carr would become.

Regarding the writing of the book, Carr remarked: “Two years of reporting and a lot of awkward conversations later, I realized that in reductive psychoanalytic terms, I had achieved a measure of integration, not just between That Guy and This Guy but between my past and my present.”

Upon achieving abstinence, Carr went on to remarry, raise his three children and create a professional career that brought him widespread respect and showcased his brilliance. “I now inhabit a life I don’t deserve, but we all walk this earth feeling we are frauds. The trick is to be grateful and hope the caper doesn’t end any time soon.”

Just hours before his death, Carr moderated a panel to discuss the Academy Award-nominated documentary, Citizenfour, with the film's subject, NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, who participated via satellite with director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

You can watch David Carr's last interview here.

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Regina Walker is a licensed psychotherapist in NYC. She has written for multiple publications and is an avid photographer. You can find her on Linkedin or follow her on Twitter.