Remembering WSJ reporter Lagnado
Wall Street Journal editor in chief Matt Murray sent out the following announcement on Thursday:
I’m sorry to share the very sad news that our dear colleague, Lucette Lagnado, passed away last night at the age of 62.
Lucette was a singular talent, a journalist who was intensely curious about a wide range of issues and an empathetic writer whose many subjects included Jewish life, immigrant experience, the uninsured, the sick and the elderly and her own remarkable past. Deep reporting and a rich vein of humanity run throughout her work.
Over almost 25 years at the Journal, Lucette wrote deep investigative articles on the plight of uninsured hospital patients and breast-cancer treatment, and on the restoration of Nazi-looted cultural works. Her award-winning articles focused on women at risk of breast cancer who had preventive double mastectomies as well as investigations into how nursing homes handle patients with dementia.
Lucette drew on her own background for some of her most memorable work. She had waged a successful battle with cancer as a teenager. She credited her relationship with a doctor named Burton Lee in part for her overcoming cancer as an adolescent, as she recalled in a first-person account of their enduring bond.
Born in Egypt and raised in Brooklyn, she wrote a memoir in 2007 about her father’s flight from Egypt after Nasser came to power, “The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family’s Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World.” She continued the family’s tale in another memoir, published in 2011: “The Arrogant Years: One Girl’s Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn.” She also co-wrote “Children of the Flames: Dr. Josef Mengele and the Untold Story of the Twins of Auschwitz,” about individuals subjected to Nazi experiments during World War II.
Among the dozen-plus awards and prizes she won for the WSJ are a Sabew and at least three Newswomen’s Club of NY Front Page Awards.
One of Lucette’s final Journal articles was a portrait of six nurses who trained together in the Philippines and emigrated to the U.S. to pursue their careers, all the while caring for one another like a small, self-selected family.
Besides her husband, Doug Feiden, she leaves three siblings: Ezra Lagnado, Suzette Lagnado and Isaac Lagnado, a nephew (Alexander Diaz de Villalvilla) and two nieces (Carolyn Lagnado Miller and Evelyn Lagnado) and much loved in-laws.
We grieve with them and thank them for sharing Lucette with all of us and with our readers.