David Carr Cause of Death: Lung Cancer Claims Life of Top New York Times Writer

(REUTERS/Chester Higgins Jr./New York Times)New York Times media columnist David Carr poses in a 2008 archive photo provided by his newspaper.

Esteemed New York Times columnist David Carr, who died unexpectedly on Thursday night, had lung cancer, and died of complications from the disease, the results of an autopsy released Saturday evening showed.

Carr, 58, was a survivor of Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, according to the New York Times, adding that he described his experiences as a cancer patient in his 2008 memoir, "The Night of the Gun."

The chief medical examiner of New York City, which conducted an autopsy, said heart disease was a contributing factor in his death.

Carr collapsed near his desk at The Times offices in Midtown Manhattan just before 9 p.m. on Thursday. He received cardiopulmonary resuscitation and was taken to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

In announcing Carr's death, The Times' executive editor, Dean Baquet, called him "the finest media reporter of our generation."

Earlier, New York Times publisher and chairman Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. described Carr as "one of the most gifted journalists who has ever worked at The New York Times."

Tributes from readers, journalists and other people whose lives Carr touched with the wit and wisdom he displayed in his writings quickly swamped the Internet. His death instantly became a trending topic on Twitter and Google.

A memorial in the Times newsroom at 3 p.m. Friday attracted a large crowd. Carr's funeral is set on Tuesday morning, Feb. 24.

On the night before he died, Carr moderated a panel discussion about "Citizenfour," the Oscar-nominated documentary on whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Times said.

Carr was joined by Laura Poitras, the film's director; journalist Glenn Greenwald, who first published Snowden's findings; and Snowden himself, who spoke through a live video feed from Russia, the newspaper said.

In an obituary, the Times said Carr wrote about media for the newspaper. Carr started working for the Times in 2002.

"Prior to joining the Times, Carr was a contributing writer for The Atlantic Monthly and New York Magazine. In 2000, he was the media writer for Inside.com, a website focusing on the business of entertainment and publishing," the Times wrote.

He was an editor of Twin Cities Reader, an alternative weekly in Minneapolis from 1993 to 1995. He served as editor at Washington City Paper in Washington D.C. for five years.

As a Times columnist, the newspaper said, "Mr. Carr's writing was plain-spoken and could be blunt; he often gathered in readers conspiratorially and was sometimes self-referential and conscience-stricken. The effect was both folksy and sophisticated, a voice from a shrewd and well-informed skeptic."

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