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In Memoriam

Medal of Freedom Recipient Maya Angelou Dies at 86

20140403213226!Angelou_ObamaPoet and author Maya Angelou died today at the age of 86, according to her literary agent Helen Brann. Angelou received the country’s highest civilian honor – the Medal of Freedom – in 2011 from President Obama, and is most widely known for her award-winning memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

At the 2013 National Book Awards where she received the “Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community” award, she told the audience, “You are the rainbow in my cloud…Easy reading is damn hard writing…For over 40 years, I have tried to tell the truth as I understand it…I haven’t tried to tell everything I know, but I’ve tried to tell the truth.”

Commissioned by the US Department of State, Angelou published His Day Is Done after the passing of Nelson Mandela.

Angelou died at her home in Winston-Salem, NC.

Newseum to Host Journalists Memorial Rededication on June 9

1952The Newseum will rededicate its Journalists Memorial on June 9 in honor of ten journalists who died or were killed in the pursuit of news during 2013. Kathleen Carroll, executive editor and senior vice president of the Associated Press, will serve as the rededication’s keynote speaker.

“The Journalists Memorial reminds us of the risks and sacrifices made by journalists around the world,” said Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute. “Journalists face injury and threats, and some pay the ultimate sacrifice.” Read more

Military Times Offers a Look Back on Arlington at 150

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 11.50.16As we head into Memorial Day Weekend, Military Times published “Arlington at 150 - Celebrating America’s Heroes,” written by staff photographer Mike Morones, accompanied by full screen images and video of ceremonies and spaces throughout Arlington National Cemetery. The piece is produced by Angy Peterson, Issa Chan, Amy Ng, Peter Shatzer, John Bretschneider, and Jennifer Milbrett.

The feature opens to an interview with former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and goes on to offer historical context of the cemetery and the 3rd US Infantry Regiment, responsible for standing guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

It’s definitely worth a look. You can do so here.

She’s Backkk! Jill Abramson Remembers Arthur Gelb for The Huffington Post

abramsonA week after being fired as executive editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson has resurfaced, penning a piece in remembrance of former NYTimes managing editor Arthur Gelb for The Huffington Post.

“His eyes danced when he told stories about dreaming up the multi-sectioned New York Times,” Abramson remembers of Gelb in the piece. “His daring creativity helped save the newspaper at an earlier secular choke point that was every bit as life-threatening as the transition from print to digital happening now.”

Read the piece in its entirety here.

Remembering Bob Kemper

in-memoriamOn Monday we told you that longtime Washington political journalist Bob Kemper succumbed to an apparent heart attack over the weekend. He was 53.

Visitation will be held today from 5 – 8pm at Saint Bartholomew Church at 6900 River Road in Bethesda. A mass will be celebrated Thursday at 10am followed by internment in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Bob Kemper Memorial Fund, set up to help support the education of Bob and Mary’s three children, Ryan, Jack and Grace. Checks can be made payable to the Bob Kemper Memorial Fund and mailed to:

The Bob Kemper Memorial Fund
6100 Welborn Dr.
Bethesda, Md., 20816

Longtime Washington Political Journo Bob Kemper Passed Away Saturday

in-memoriamOn the night of the annual White House Correspondents’ dinner, longtime Washington political journalist Bob Kemper succumbed to an apparent heart attack. He was 53.

Kemper served as an assistant managing editor for the Washington Examiner, and prior to that, reported on Washington and the White House for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Chicago Tribune.

According to a piece remembering the journalist on WashingtonExaminer.com, “He was one of the few journalists allowed to spend much of Sept. 12, 2001, with President George W. Bush, and he later authored a book on the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Rubble: How the 9/11 Families Rebuilt Their Lives and Inspired America.”

Read the full piece in memory of Kemper here.

We’ll include information on any arrangements when they become available in this post.

 

CQ Roll Call Mourns Loss of Arnie Thomas

Rebecca Gale pens an obit for former senior vice president at CQ Roll Call, Arnie Thomas. Thomas was also a former director of LEGI-SLATE at The Washington Post, president of the A Thomas Group, and a mentor to many. He died of a heart attack on April 12.

From the obituary:

But Thomas was most effusive about mentoring others. “I often encourage my clients to mentor others,” he wrote in Everyday Mentor. “Mentoring not only helps the mentee to grow personally and professionally but it also creates an opportunity for the mentor to gain fulfillment through the development of others, personal rejuvenation, a larger support community and an opportunity of greater self-awareness. Plus, frankly it just feels good!”

“I worked with him for 23 years,” said Lisa McAvoy, a product development manager at CQ Roll Call.” I saw him through so many professional and personal highs and lows. He never lost his integrity or his zest for living. He took people for where they were and moved them forward. It was a remarkable gift. He was the youngest 66 I ever met.”

Drastic Changes at CQ Roll Call Ahead of CQ Now Launch

Just over a month after David Ellis signed on as VP of News at CQ Roll Call, the former editor at large at Bloomberg’s Washington bureau announced his first newsroom changes.

In a confidential memo (Subject Line: A confidential FYI from David Ellis) sent to staff this morning and forwarded to FishbowlDC, Ellis announced changes in advance of the late-April launch of CQ Now, described as a “daily gateway to the latest intelligence about the inner workings of Capitol Hill.”

Read more after the jump.

Read more

Longtime TWT, Washington Star Sports Reporter Dies

Dick Heller, a native Washingtonian who wrote about District sports for more than 5 decades has died. Heller wrote for The Washington Times as well as the Washington Star and the Alexandria Gazette. He was also pivotal in a key Appeals court case regarding freedom of speech. From the WaPo obit:

In 1977, when the University of Maryland had one of the top men’s basketball teams in the country, The Washington Post published a story highlighting the players’ dismal academic records. Mr. Heller, then a columnist at the Star, went a step further, publishing the names of four players, with their photographs prominently displayed.. .Six members of the team sued Mr. Heller and the Star… for invasion of privacy, publishing confidential university records and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The players asked for $72 million in damages.

Read more

NatGeo Responds to Death of Jamie Coots

As has been widely reported, the snake-handling Pentecostal pastor and reality TV star from Kentucky Jamie Coots died on Saturday after being bitten by a poisonous snake. Coots and fellow pastor Andrew Hamblin were both featured on NatGeo’s “Snake Salvation,” which followed their lives and aimed to educate people about their religion. The DC-based cable channel issued the following statement today on Coots’ death:

On the passing of Pastor Jamie Coots:

National Geographic joins his family, friends and community in mourning the loss of Pastor Jamie Coots. In following Pastor Coots for our series Snake Salvation, we were constantly struck by his devout religious convictions despite the health and legal peril he often faced. Those risks were always worth it to him and his congregants as a means to demonstrate their unwavering faith.  We were honored to be allowed such unique access to Pastor Jamie and his congregation during the course of our show, and give context to his method of worship.  Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

Coots died at home after being bitten by a snake at his church. Paramedics were on the scene to assist him there, but his family refused their help. They believe, based on their reading of the Book of Mark, that God protects the faithful from the venom of snakes. Hamblin was also with Coots when he was bitten. No charges will be filed in the case.

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