John Dwyer, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist, Passes away at 63

Jim Dwyer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, columnist plus author whose stylish journalism taken the human dramas of New York Town for readers of New York Newsday, The Daily News and The newest York Times for almost four decades, died on Thursday night in Manhattan. He was 63.

His death, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, was introduced by Dean Baquet, the professional editor of The Times, and Clifford Levy, the paper’s metropolitan publisher, in an email to the Times employees. The cause was complications of lung cancer.

Within prose that might have leapt through best-selling novels, Mr. Dwyer pictured the last minutes of thousands who also perished in the collapse of the Globe Trade Center’s twin towers upon Sept. 11, 2001; detailed the particular terrors of innocent Black young ones pulled over and shot by racial-profiling state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike; and told of the coronavirus besieging a New York City hospital.

Mr. Dwyer won the 1995 Pulitzer pertaining to commentary for content in New York Newsday, and has been part of a New York Newsday group that won the 1992 Pulitzer for spot news reporting for coverage of a subway derailment in Manhattan. Colleagues called Mr. Dwyer — who worked for six metropolitan dailies and published or co-wrote six books — a fast, accurate and prolific author who crusaded against injustice.

In a kaleidoscopic career, Mr. Dwyer was attracted to tales of discrimination against ethnic and ethnic minorities, wrongly found guilty prisoners and society’s mistreated outcasts. He wrote about subway straphangers and families struggling to make payments.

Being a student at Fordham University, he previously hoped to become a doctor until this individual joined the student newspaper, The particular Fordham Ram, and one day had written about a rough-looking man having a good epileptic seizure on a Bronx pavement. Mr. Dwyer stopped to help.

“People transferring by were muttering disapproval, ‘junkie, ’ ‘scumbag, ’ that kind of thing, ” he wrote. “The seizure subsided, and those of us exactly who had stayed with him learned he or she was a veteran and had been getting seizures since coming back from Vietnam. A few minutes later, off he proceeded to go. But that moment stayed with myself. ”

A 19-year-old cub reporter, he or she wrote a lead paragraph that will set the tone for a profession: “Charlie Martinez, whoever he has been, lay on the cold sidewalk before Dick Gidron’s used Cadillac put on Fordham Road. He had picked an excellent afternoon to go into convulsions: the particular sky was sharp and awesome, a fall day that produced even Fordham Road look good. ”

Mr. Dwyer was addicted. In a 2020 interview for this obit, he said: “I intended to become pre-med, but The Fordham Ram obtained in the way of that. It was a crusading student newspaper. I couldn’t withstand it. It was a joy for me to learn how much I loved reporting plus writing. ”

He was an established writer, having been one for six yrs at The Daily News and for 9 of his 11 years in New York Newsday when The Times employed him to be a general-assignment reporter in-may 2001, four months before the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Middle in Lower Manhattan.

He soon gravitated in order to tales of injustice: Anthony Faison and Charles Shepherd , harmless men, released after serving fourteen years for murder; the city’s $8. 75 million settlement along with Abner Louima , four yrs after a police officer sodomized him having a broomstick in a Brooklyn station home; and freedom for Jose Morales after 13 many years in prison for a killing this individual did not commit.

And the day two hijacked jetliners hit the twin systems of the trade center, Mr. Dwyer caught New York’s mood in the subdued phrases of the veteran columnist: “The city transformed yesterday. No one, no matter how far from Reduce Manhattan, could step on a Ny sidewalk untouched by concussions. ”

Later on, he wrote about artifacts that will figured in the 9/11 attack, which includes a window washer’s squeegee, which had been used to reduce a hole in sheetrock in order to free six men trapped within an elevator on the 50th floor from the North Tower. They fled lower stairways, emerging just as the Southern Tower fell in the distance.

In 2005, Mr. Dwyer plus a Times colleague, Kevin Flynn, released “102 Mins: The Untold Story of the Combat to Survive Inside the Twin Towers. ” The book, located in part on a long investigative record published in The Times in 2002, and on survivors’ accounts and tapes of police and fire functions, chronicled the final minutes of many one of the thousands who died in the falling apart towers.


Since 2007, Mister. Dwyer had written The Times’s “About New York” column, succeeding the distinguished line of writers including Meyer Berger, David Gonzalez and Lalu Barry.

In a 2016 interview with The Columbia Journalism Review , Mr. Dwyer had been asked if he had the best work in journalism. “I believe I actually do, ” he said. “A large part of my job is to talk to brilliant scientists, great artists, the astonishing people you meet just travelling the streets of New York. Exactly what could be more fun than that? ”

In the last column for The Times , on May 26, he had written of the devastation caused by the coronavirus, linking the pandemic to their own family’s history and the catastrophic 1918 flu.

“In times to come, ” this individual wrote, “when we are all gone, individuals not yet born will stroll in the sunshine of their own days due to what women and men did at this hr to feed the sick, in order to heal and comfort. ”

James Dwyer, who always went by Jim, in the byline and otherwise, was born within Manhattan on March 4, 1957, the second of four sons associated with Irish Roman Catholic immigrants, Philip and Mary (Molloy) Dwyer. Their father was a public school custodian, his mother an emergency room doctor at Bellevue Hospital. Jim great three brothers attended Catholic parochial schools in Manhattan.

Jim graduated from your Msgr. William R. Kelly College in 1971. At the Loyola College, a Jesuit-run college-prep high school around the Upper East Side, he performed several sports, joined the theatre club, was editor of the college newspaper and graduated in 1975.

At Fordham, he gained a bachelor’s degree in general technology in 1979. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was a classmate. In 1980, he or she received a master’s degree through the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism .

This individual married Catherine Muir, a teacher of computer sciences, in 1981. He is survived by his spouse; two daughters, Maura Dwyer plus Catherine Elizabeth Dwyer; and his 3 brothers, Patrick, Phil and Mark.

Mister. Dwyer was a reporter for The Hudson Dispatch in Union City, In. J., from 1980 to 1982; for The Elizabeth (N. J. ) Daily Journal in 1982; as well as for The Record of Hackensack, And. J., in 1983 and 1984. He then joined New York Newsday, the tabloid spinoff of Newsday upon Long Island, as a reporter. This individual was a columnist there from 1986 to 1995 (the year Nyc Newsday was closed), focusing initially on subways and then on common topics.

Image Mr. Dwyer covered the subway system for New York Newsday, great columns became the basis for a guide, & ldquo; Subway Lives: twenty four hours in the Life of the New York Subways. & rdquo;

His subway columns had been expanded into a book, “Subway Life: 24 Hours in the Life of the Ny Subways” (1991). A review in The La Times said: “‘Subway Lives’ might be hard-boiled, but it’s best comprehended as an epic poem, and Dwyer himself comes across as a faintly Homeric figure, a late-20th-century urban bard who finds something heroic within (and under) the mean roads of Gotham. ”

As part of the Newsday group that covered the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, Mister. Dwyer and three colleagues published “Two Mere seconds Under the World” (1994), a book that detailed the industry center attack and explored the first signs of terrorism by Islamic fundamentalists.

Their 1998 articles for The Daily Information about racial profiling by condition troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike resulted in the indictment of two officials who had stopped and photo several young Black and Latino college students in a roadside confrontation. The particular wounded men were hospitalized, yet recovered. The troopers pleaded accountable to reduced charges, and the condition paid $13 million to settle legal cases.

With the lawyer Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, co-founder from the Innocence Project, Mr. Dwyer had written “Actual Innocence: Five Days in order to Execution, and Other Dispatches From the Mistakenly Convicted” (2000), the stories associated with 10 of the men they assisted.

Mister. Dwyer also wrote “False Confidence: Innocence, Guilt, and Science” (2014), and helped narrate a this year documentary, “ The particular Central Park Five, ” by Ken Burns, Jesse McMahon and Sarah Burns, regarding five Black and Latino young ones wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for your 1989 rape of a white female who had been jogging in the park.

Mr. Dwyer covered parts of the Central Recreation area Five trial in 1990 for brand spanking new York Newsday and later voiced regrets that he had not been more powerful about his own reservations about the proof and the case. He noted that this grass had been wet on the nights the attack, “so a record of the very first moments of the assault was composed in the damp ground. ”

He additional: “Crime scene photographs showed the particular trail where Ms. Meili (the victim) was dragged off the road. It had been only about 18 inches wide, just one newspaper spread open. In that path, there is neither room for, neither trace of, five people. Regardless of how hard or long you appear. ”