Fred Hyatt, a foreign correspondent who became editorial page editor of The Washington Post in 2000, died Monday in a New York City hospital.
WASHINGTON – Fred Hyatt, a foreign correspondent who became editorial page editor for The Washington Post in 2000, died Monday at a New York City hospital. He was 66 years old.
According to the Post, his wife, Margaret “Pooh” Shapiro, said that while visiting their daughter in Brooklyn, NY, Hyatt had a cardiac arrest on November 24 and did not regain consciousness.
The Post said that for two decades, Hyatt wrote or edited nearly every unsigned editorial published by the newspaper — more than 1,000 a year. He also edited the op-ed page of the newspaper and the opinion column published on the website.
“Over the past two decades, Fred’s leadership has made The Post’s editorial page one of the most consequential in the news industry,” said Washington Post publisher and chief executive Frederick J. Ryan Jr. said in a statement to employees. “A 40-year veteran of The Post, he built friendships throughout the company and made enormous contributions as a writer, an editor, and a mentor to many throughout the organization. His legacy also spans the world: Some journalists have protested his idealism and complete dedication to democracy and human rights around the world.”
Hayat was a Post reporter covering regional politics and national security for 15 years and a correspondent in Tokyo and Moscow before joining the editorial page in 1996. Four years later, he took over the editorial page.
Under his leadership, Hyatt worked to maintain The Post’s traditional editorial positions, which include support for civil rights, financial responsibility, and international human rights. He oversaw Post editorials, calling for China to allow dissent and free its political prisoners, and advocated for abortion rights and campaign finance reform.
His tenure was not without controversy.
On September 11, 2001, he and his deputy, Jackson Diehl, responded to the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and New York’s World Trade Center with an editorial that they adapted to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which saw America enter World War II. inspired to do. , Opponents later criticized Hayat for helping lead the march to the war in Iraq.
Hyatt had an eye for developing editorial talent and in an Internet age created a team that produced some of the website’s most read articles. According to the paper, three columnists won a Pulitzer for commentary under Hyatt’s guidance: Colbert I King in 2003, Eugene Robinson in 2009, and Kathleen Parker in 2010. Hyatt himself was a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing.