Journalist Michael Hastings dies in car crash

June 18, 2013

Michael Hastings, the award-winning journalist and war correspondent, has died in a car accident in Los Angeles.

Ben Smith, editor in chief of the news site BuzzFeed, said he learned from a family member that the 33-year-old died early Tuesday.

Hastings, a BuzzFeed contributor who also wrote books about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, was best known for his Polk Award-winning 2010 cover story for Rolling Stone, “The Runaway General.”

The article revealed the military’s candid criticisms of the Obama administration, and the report was credited with ending Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s career. President Obama dismissed the four-star general after his comments were published.

Hastings covered the Iraq war for Newsweek for several years. Five years ago, he became a reporter who was frequently the subject of his story, starting with his 2008 memoir, “I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story,” about his aid-worker girlfriend who died in Iraq.


Award winning American journalist and war correspondent Michael Hastings has died in a car crash in Los Angeles. Hastings won a 2010 George Polk Award for magazine reporting for his Rolling Stone story “The Runaway General” about U.S. General Stanley McChrystal. (Paul Morigi)

Washington Post critic Kimberly Johnson said at the time that “Hastings’s descriptions of events on the ground in Iraq are flat and impartial, delivered in just-the-facts style. But that only heightens his complete candor about his soul-shattering loss from Andi’s death in a Baghdad gun battle.”

Amy Argetsinger contributed to this report.

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