'Gifted' NYT Political Journalist Dies Suddenly at 44

Police investigating Blake Hounshell's death as a suicide
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2023 7:21 AM CST
'Gifted' Political Journalist Blake Hounshell Dies at 44
Blake Hounshell   (Twitter.com/blakehounshell)

Journalist Blake Hounshell, who became editor of the New York Times' "On Politics" newsletter after roles as editor-in-chief at Politico Magazine and managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, died Tuesday at the age of 44. His family said he died in Washington "after a long and courageous battle with depression." Police are investigating the death as a suicide, the New York Times reports. Born in California and raised in Delaware and Pittsburgh, Hounshell earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Yale University in 2002. He then moved to the Middle East and in 2011 was named a finalist for the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists for his reporting on the Arab Spring uprisings.

Hounshell won three National Magazine Awards while at Foreign Policy, which he "reinvented … into a daily online magazine" together with editor Susan Glasser, per Politico. "He was faster and smarter and more immersed in the news cycle than anyone I've known" and "the first and most digital native person I knew," Glasser recalls, per the outlet. "He had his encyclopedic knowledge of the world that was unparalleled among our staff," adds David Kenner, who formerly served as Foreign Policy's Middle East editor. Hounshel served as managing editor from 2009 to 2013 before joining Politico.

He was editor-in-chief of the magazine and magazine editor for Washington and politics. Indeed, he was "one of the driving forces behind Politico's success over nearly a decade," according to that outlet. Hounshell joined the Times in 2021, writing a newsletter read by an estimated 500,000 subscribers. Executive editor Joseph Kahn said he "quickly distinguished himself as our lead politics newsletter writer and a gifted observer of our country's political scene." Politics editor David Halbfinger said he had "the kind of wide-ranging intellect that made it possible for him to explain anything to anyone." Hounshell is survived by his wife, two children, parents, and two siblings, per Politico.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 in the US. (More obituary stories.)

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