Kevin McKenna of the New York Times writes about Nathaniel Nash, a Times business reporter who died in a 1996 plane crash.
McKenna writes, “He was nearly a quarter-century into his career — ‘at the peak of his life,’ Ms. Golden Behr said — when he was suddenly gone. He died in the crash of a United States military plane off Croatia in 1996 while covering a trade mission led by Commerce Secretary Ron Brown.
“Nathaniel, a financial correspondent based in Frankfurt, was the only reporter on the trip, which he had persuaded his Times editors to let him cover. He was 44 years old, and he was the first Times journalist since World War II to die while covering a story.
“Colleagues were devastated, but the blow was greatest to Nathaniel’s family: his wife, Elizabeth, and their 8-year-son and 5-year-old twin daughters. In discussions between the family and Times journalists and executives, the idea emerged of establishing an annual award in Nathaniel’s memory.
“But while the award was intended to recognize ‘journalistic chops,’ the criterion ‘was not a standard like the best business story of the year,’ said John Geddes, who was then the business editor. It was meant to honor the singular qualities that defined Nathaniel: Someone who was ‘cooperative, collegial, who would help you out on anything.'”
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