Renowned New York City journalist, Pete Hamill, has passed at age 85 today due to emergency surgery on a fractured right hip, leading to heart and kidney failure.
Born in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Hamill delivered the Brooklyn Daily Eagle at age 11 and had dreams of becoming a comic book artist like Milton Caniff. He began his journalism career in 1958 as an art director for the Atlantis when he convinced his supervisors to allow him to write a piece on boxer José Torres. This lit the fire for Hamill’s passion, and in 1960 he began writing for The New York Post after penning several letters to the editor of the publication. His career only flourished since.
Previously having dated Jacqueline Onassis, Hamill was good friends with Robert F. Kennedy and had convinced him to run for president, covering his campaign. In 1968, when Kennedy was assassinated, Hamill was present and disarmed the assailant (Sirhan Sirhan) of his weapon.
A long career boasting work at the New York Post, the Village Voice, the Daily News, and many more, Hamill was also an accomplished author and screenwriter. His 1994 memoir, A Drinking Life, was one of his most notable publications, recalling his childhood through his thirties and his struggle to relinquish drinking.
As a New York native, Hamill brought even more magic to the city. He often wrote about the beauty of simplistic, everyday joys. He will live on through his work and his influence, always. As written in his novel, Forever:
I don’t know what that means. To truly live. To find work that you love, and work harder than other men. To learn the languages of the earth, and love the sounds of the words and the things they describe. To love food and music and drink. Fully love them. To love weather, and storms, and the smell of rain. To love heat. To love cold. To love sleep and dreams. To love the newness of each day.