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Celebrity Death

Journalist Philip Meyer’s Death Following Parkinson’s Disease


Legendary data journalist Philip Meyer’s death was announced on Saturday at his home in Carrboro, N.C., a suburb of Chapel Hill. He died of complications of Parkinson’s disease.

Family members said Philip Meyer recently had a happy celebration of his 93rd birthday with his children and grandchildren.

The professor and journalist pioneered the use of social science methods to enhance reporting and authored books, including the seminal “Precision Journalism.”

Journalist Philip Meyer's Death Following Parkinson's Disease

Earlier this year the Investigative Reporters & Editors organization honored the 50th anniversary of the book at the NICAR23 conference in Nashville.

One of his three daughters Sarah Meyer said: “He maintained his humor, grace, and mild-mannered reporter’s sense of curiosity and calm till the end.”

“Phil was a pioneer in data journalism, who brought higher standards to reporting through data analysis and his own brilliant conceptual thinking,” longtime friend Brant Houston, said.

“He instructed and inspired students and journalists throughout the world and leaves a deep legacy in the profession.”

Meyer is survived by his daughters Kathy (Steve) Lucente, Sarah Meyer, and Melissa Meyer, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Philip was preceded in death by his wife, Sue Quail Meyer, and daughter Caroline Dalton Meyer.

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Philip Meyer’s Death Confirmed by His Family

Melissa Meyer confirmed Philip Meyer’s death at the age of 93. He passed away Saturday at home in Carrboro, North Carolina, surrounded by family.

Meyer was one of the early supporters of using data analysis for investigative journalism. Meyer analyzed survey research about the 1967 deadly riot in Detroit to demonstrate that college-educated people were as likely as high school dropouts to have participated in the riot.

Meyer’s work was part of a Pulitzer Prize for local spot news reporting for the Detroit Free Press staff.

Journalist Philip Meyer's Death Following Parkinson's Disease

He has received several awards over the years, and one of journalism’s highest honors is named after him.

IRE’s global Philip Meyer Journalism Award was established in 200 re5 and recognizes the best journalism that uses the social science research methods pioneered by Meyer.

“Phil Meyer embodied all that makes the investigative journalism community great — brilliance, creativity, thoroughness and generosity,” IRE President Brian M. Rosenthal of The New York Time said.

“We will miss him, but we know that his legacy lives on in countless IRE members and other data journalists around the world.”

Meyer was remembered as a consummate educator. “He will be remembered for his kindness and patience in his teaching along with a wry sense of humor that made new methods and ways of thinking much easier to learn,” Houston said.

“He was very precise and patient. He was able to seamlessly weave stories of his work in newspapers and his work doing analysis into something we were trying to learn that was much harder, which I think made it a lot easier to learn,” veteran journalist and assistant professor of data journalism at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Jennifer LaFleur, said.

We are heartbroken to share another sad story with you. Cancer was reported as Louise Gluck’s cause of death by Jonathan Galassi, her longtime editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux on October 13, 2023.

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