Anthony Shadid, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and UW-Madison graduate, died Thursday in Syria of an apparent asthma attack.
He was 43.
Shadid was in Syria on a reporting assignment. The New York Times reported Times photographer Tyler Hicks was with him and carried his body to Turkey.
A 1990 UW-Madison graduate, Shadid won two Pulitzer Prizes for the Washington Post, in 2004 for international reporting and in 2010 for his coverage of Iraq. He was with The New York Times since 2009.
“Anthony died as he lived — determined to bear witness to the transformation sweeping the middle East and to testifying to the suffering of people caught between government oppression and opposition forces,” Jill Abrahamson, executive editor of the Times said in a statement.
Shadid faced several perils as a Middle East correspondent. In 2002, he was shot in the shoulder while reporting in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Last year, he and three other Times journalists including photographer Lynsey Addario, a 1995 UW-Madison graduate, were taken captive by Libyan forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and released six days later.
Speaking to an audience in Oklahoma City about a month after his release, he said he had a conversation with his father the night before he was detained.
“Maybe a little bit arrogantly, perhaps with a little bit of conceit, I said, ‘It’s OK, Dad. I know what I’m doing. I’ve been in this situation before,’” Shadid told the crowd of several dozen people. “I guess on some level I felt that if I wasn’t there to tell the story, the story wouldn’t be told.”
Shadid spent much of 2003 in Baghdad and wrote a book, “Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War,” which views the Iraq war through the eyes of ordinary citizens.
“The United States never understood Iraq and I don’t think it does still,” he said during a lecture at the UW-Madison’s Fluno Center in 2004.
Shadid also wrote “Legacy of the Prophet: Despots, Democrats and the New Politics of Islam” in 2001. His memoir, “House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East” is scheduled to be released March 27.
Shadid was born in Oklahoma City of Lebanese descent. The New York Times said he is survived by his wife, Nada Bakri; a son, Malik; and a daughter, Laila.