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New York Times columnist David Carr dies at age 58

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New York Times Columnist David Carr attends the TimesTalks at The New School on February 12, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)

New York Times Columnist David Carr attends the TimesTalks at The New School on February 12, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — 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 as editor of the The Twin Cities Reader, and later the Washington City Paper.

In 2008, Carr published a memoir called “The Night of the Gun,” a chronicle of his struggle with addiction, and subsequent recovery. The account was brutally honest, tracing Carr’s journey from troubled drug user to loving family man and successful professional.

“My story is charming or horrifying, depending on which part of it you focus on,” Carr said of the book, which he reported over the course of two years.

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.

Carr passed away after collapsing at the newspaper’s office in Manhattan, according to an internal memo sent by Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times.

Baquet was effusive in his praise for Carr, describing him as “the finest media reporter of his generation,” and a “remarkable and funny man.”

“He was our biggest champion, and his unending passion for journalism and for truth will be missed by his family at The Times, by his readers around the world, and by people who love journalism,” Baquet wrote.

Carr tweeted his condolences about “60 Minutes” correspondent Bob Simon who was killed in a car crash just a day earlier.

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