Hundreds Remember New York Times Columnist David Carr

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Judging by the boldface names in attendance—HBO star Lena Dunham, comedian Tom Arnold, CNN personalities Anthony Bourdain, Jake Tapper and Brian Stelter; Watergate sleuth Carl Bernstein, and the last three executive editors of The New York Times—one might have mistaken David Carr’s wake for a solemn state occasion.

Instead, Monday night’s celebration of the Times media columnist—who died last Thursday night at a mere 58, collapsing in the Times newsroom an hour or so after expertly moderating a panel on national security journalism—was a down-to-earth and often hilarious farewell by an overflow crowd of friends, family and admirers who, despite their frequent bursts of laughter, were clearly shattered by Carr’s abrupt departure. Carr’s funeral was held Tuesday at Manhattan’s St. Ignatius Loyola Roman Catholic Church.

“I loved my dad, I loved him so much. I am so sad that he’s not here. But, good lord, he would have loved this!” daughter Erin Lee Carr told the mourners gathered at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. They filled every seat, lined the walls, and spilled into the lobby, all drawn by the magnetism of Carr’s irresistible persona, as powerful in death as it was in life. “My dad was a crazy one,” Erin added.

At the front of the chapel, where Carr’s widow Jill Rooney Carr sat with daughters Erin, Maddie, and Meagan and greeted friends with tight hugs, there was a huge black-and-white head shot  of David, smiling happily and looking deeply satisfied with life, and two of David’s pocket-sized reporter’s notebooks, propped against vases filled with lilies. On the front of each notebook in blue ink, he dutifully wrote his name and the season—“Winter 2014” on one and “Spring 14” on the other—in handwriting that was serviceable but hardly fastidious. To the left was one of David’s beloved cans of Diet Coke, which, along with cigarettes, had replaced his addiction to the illegal sort of coke. (An autopsy determined that David, who had survived non-Hodgkins lymphoma years earlier, died of lung cancer.)

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Source: The Daily Beast | Lloyd Grove

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