Sandy Hume, 28, a reporter for The Hill newspaper who had begun making regular television appearances, died Feb. 22 in his apartment in Arlington. Officials released no cause of death, but family members and his newspaper said the death appeared to be a suicide.
Mr. Hume, the son of Brit Hume, a veteran Washington newspaper and television correspondent and anchor, had rapidly begun making a reputation of his own, employers said.
Last year, when other Republican members of Congress plotted to replace Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) as speaker of the House, Mr. Hume "was the reporter who broke the story," said Martin Tolchin, editor-in-chief of The Hill, a weekly paper that covers Congress.
It was "probably the biggest congressional story of last year," Tolchin said, describing Mr. Hume as "a young reporter who outdid the big newspaper organizations."
After making occasional appearances on C-SPAN and other television outlets, he had recently signed a contract as a regular contributor to his father's nightly 6 p.m. show on the cable Fox News Channel. He started appearing about three weeks ago.
In a statement released last night, Gingrich said Mr. Hume had "remarkable talent and unlimited potential" and possessed a "rare ability to make people want to open up to him." That, Gingrich said, "was why so many people respected him as a reporter and why so many loved him as a person."
Mr. Hume was born in Washington and grew up in the Washington area. After graduating from the Landon School in Bethesda as a National Merit Scholar, he went to Middlebury College in Vermont, where he played four years of varsity lacrosse and graduated with honors.
After college, he was an editorial intern for the American Spectator, and then joined the staff of the Fauquier Times-Democrat, in Warrenton, where he covered government. He went to work at The Hill a little more than two years ago. In addition to writing for the paper, he also appeared frequently on its radio program.
"He was clearly regarded as someone with a great future in journalism," Tolchin said. At the newspaper's staff meeting yesterday, he said, "everybody was not just shocked but absolutely devastated." In addition to Brit Hume and his wife, Kim, of Delaplane, Mr. Hume's survivors include his mother, Clare Stoner Hume of Bethesda, and a sister, Virginia Hume of Arlington.