“Mourning him would be rather silly. He died too soon, but so do we all. The universe is run idiotically, and its only certain product is sorrow. But there are yet men who, by their generally pleasant spirits, by their dignity and decency, by their extraordinary capacity for making and keeping friends, yet manage to cheat, in some measure, the common destiny of mankind, doomed like the beasts to perish." - H.L. Mencken
We all know people like Steve Daley, who shared this quote with his friend and colleague Mary Schmich. They have lots of friends, but when asked, each one will insist that he made them feel like they were his best friend. In some ways - sometimes literally - they are bigger than life.
So their deaths leave a noticeable hole in our lives.
People in the media - local, national, international - are exposed to death every day. Some of them are embedded with troops in war zones; others report from the scenes of drive-by shootings. They might file stories on funerals and accidents. They are required to stay out of the stories themselves, to just report the facts.
But people in the media are human, and sometimes a story hits a little too close to home. Such is the case with former Chicago Tribune sports and national political correspondent Steve Daley, who died suddenly at the age of 62. Daley was one of those people who you just assume will always be there, always be around, because they seem immortal. But they’re not.
Colleagues have weighed in on Daley (no relation to the former mayors) and his importance in their lives. Tribune columnist Eric Zorn provided samples of Daley’s articles and blog posts. Mary Schmich’s column considered their friendship. Even colleagues at the rival Chicago Sun-Times, such as Carol Marin, mourned their friend in print and online.
In the cut-throat world of media, it’s rare to hear of people who are almost universally respected and loved. Steve Daley appears to be one of them.
His friends echoed Steve’s own words from his blog post on the death of his friend, “Shoe” cartoonist Jeff MacNelly:
“They tell you that in this life you’re supposed to get over this stuff. But you never, ever do.”
To read more about Steve Daley, you can check out his blog, Failed Talkers, and the following tributes from his friends:
Mary Schmich "Steve Daley was the Best of Friends"
Carol Marin "A Masterful Failed Talker Passes On"
Eric Zorn “Steve Daley: A Memorial Tribute in his own words”
What a thoughtful and touching tribute.
Thanks, Angela -
I loved his friends' columns. He was a lucky guy to have them in his life.
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