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Brooklyn reacts to Pete Hamill’s death

August 6, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Brooklyn reacts to Pete Hamill’s death
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Brooklynites are mourning legendary journalist Pete Hamill, who died Wednesday at age 85.

According to his brother Denis, Hamill died at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital from heart and kidney failure following a fall in his Brooklyn home on Saturday. He is survived by his wife Fukiko Aoki, two daughters and a grandson.

Hamill was born in Park Slope on June 24, 1935, As a child, he delivered The Brooklyn Eagle. He was a columnist and editor-in-chief for the New York Post and New York Daily News and also wrote many books, including “A Drinking Life.”

“His time amongst  us came to an end for our eldest brother, Pete Hamill, early this morning in his  beloved Brooklyn,” his brother John wrote on Facebook. “He was 85 and he lived absolutely all of it.  While a giant has left the stage and our family, he endures in our hearts and in the hearts of those he inspired, helped, loved and laughed with. Hail to the Chief!”

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Others took to Twitter to pay tribute.

“With the passing today of Pete Hamill, the world has lost a literary giant and Brooklyn a favorite son,” said Randy Peers, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “In 2018, our organization was honored when Mr. Hamill agreed to do the welcome greeting for our Centennial Gala. Unable to attend in person, the video tribute to his beloved borough was touching and inspirational. He spoke of Ebbets Field and the Brooklyn Public Library at 6th Avenue and 9th Street, which, he said, ‘gave me my childhood and my life.’ He was a true child of Brooklyn and expressed, ‘we want to make sure that what made this particular society just, equal, and important, continues in the future.’”

“Not only was he a legendary journalist, but a lifelong library lover,” said a statement from the Brooklyn Public Library. “We revisited Hamill’s interview from ‘Sunday Morning’ and are honored to have played a role in his life: ‘Oh, we grew up poor, but not impoverished,’ Hamill said. ‘What’s the difference?’ ‘The library.’”

”All you need to know about Pete Hamill is that his fellow reporters loved him and Richard Nixon hated him,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “That is a badge of honor. He spoke truth to power, lifted people up and celebrated his beloved hometown every chance he got. He will be missed.”

“Brooklyn has lost one of its greatest scribes, an incredible writer who captured the spirit of this city,” said Borough President Eric Adams. “There will never be another Pete Hamill. I’m sorry to see a friend and great voice depart.”

“His memoir, ‘A Drinking Life,’ is one of the great books about Brooklyn, newspapers, art/culture, and a turbulent and divergent life,” said Assemblymember Robert Carroll. “Brooklyn contains multitudes; no one person or group encapsulates it, but you can’t understand Brooklyn’s breadth and scope if you haven’t read Pete Hamill’s newspaper columns or books. His impact on the culture, politics, and sensibility of NYC was immense.”


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