On Tuesday, New York Times journalist Blake Hounshell, who was highly respected and revered, passed away at the age of 44.
“We are deeply saddened to share the tragic news that our colleague Blake Hounshell has passed away,” wrote Times executive editor Joe Kahn and managing editor Carolyn Ryan in a memo to staff. “Many of us worked closely alongside Blake since he joined The Times in 2021. Blake was a dedicated journalist who quickly distinguished himself as our lead politics newsletter writer and a gifted observer of our country’s political scene. He became an indispensable and always insightful voice in the report during a busy election cycle.”
The memo continued, “Blake was devoted to his family and a friend of many on our politics and Washington teams, who have worked alongside him for many years. We will be in touch with more information on how to support his family soon.”
Hounshell’s family also issued a statement, saying, “It is with great sorrow that we have to inform you that Blake has suddenly died this morning after a long and courageous battle with depression. His wife, Sandy, and two children are in our thoughts and prayers, and ask for respect and privacy at this time.”
Hounshell’s death sent shockwaves through the media community, and several of his colleagues at the Times, as well as Politico and Foreign Policy magazine, took to social media to mourn the loss of their esteemed colleague.
“I am so shocked and so sad to hear about the tragic death of Blake Hounshell (@NYTBlake @blakehounshell.) I met him in Cairo when I was 22, on the day I got my very first newspaper job. I was excited when he joined The Times and wish I’d spent more time hanging out with him here,” wrote journalist Liam Stack.
“You’ve never met a kinder, sweeter, more thoughtful or more supportive guy. There’s a reason that everybody in his many orbits, and he kept quite a few spinning, loved him. Whether you knew him or not, we are all worse off without him. We miss you,” New York Times writer Max Fisher wrote.
“Blake was kind and thoughtful even when he absolutely did not need to be and was curious and interested in what and how you thought. He will be so missed,” New York Times’ Jane Coaston tweeted.
“Crushed. Devastated. I and so many loved this brilliant, kind funny crazy-talented man. My heart breaks for him and his beautiful family. And all who knew and loved him. Damn it,” Politico economic correspondent Ben White wrote.
“This is absolutely devastating news. Blake launched my career in journalism, first at Foreign Policy and then Politico. He was brilliant, talented and uniquely himself in an industry where it’s easy to blend in. May God bless his family and loved ones during this tragic time,” The Hill political correspondent Hanna Trudo wrote.
“Blake was my first boss and the deranged, sleep-deprived, early days our very tiny team spent relaunching ForeignPolicy.com in 2008 are still some of my most cherished journalism memories,” Grid News reporter Josh Keating tweeted.