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New York Times columnist David Carr dead at 58

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David Carr, photo from Washington and Lee University website

HONG KONG (CNNMoney) — New York Times media columnist David Carr has died at 58, his employer announced late Thursday.

One of the New York Times’ most engaging and colorful personalities, Carr was a stalwart of the media beat, helping readers — and other journalists — make sense of the rapidly changing industry.

Before joining The Times, Carr reported for The Atlantic Monthly and New York magazine. But he made his name in the punchy world of alt weeklies — first at the The Twin Cities Reader, and later at the Washington City Paper.

In 2008, Carr published a memoir called “The Night of the Gun,” a chronicle of his struggle with addiction, and his subsequent recovery.

Tributes from colleagues and friends were immediate.

“Can’t possibly find words. David Carr was brilliant, funny, generous. My heart breaks for his family+his legion of friends. Proud to be 1,” former Times colleague Bill Carter said on Twitter.