Veteran ‘NY Times’ Reporter Dies After Robbery

By: E&P Staff

Veteran New York Times reporter David E. Rosenbaum, 63, died Sunday evening from injuries suffered in a street robbery in Washington, D.C., while walking near his home two nights earlier, police said.

The longtime Times reporter in its Washington bureau had undergone surgery Saturday at Howard University Hospital in an effort to relieve pressure on his brain, said his brother, Marcus Rosenbaum.

Police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said police found Rosenbaum after being called to the scene about 9:20 p.m. Friday and that the victim’s wallet was missing.

He said police are investigating a report that two men were seen leaving the area in a dark-colored vehicle.

Earlier Sunday, The Washington Post had reported the attack this way: “A prominent Washington journalist was in extremely critical condition last night after being beaten and robbed while taking an after-dinner walk in his quiet upper Northwest Washington neighborhood, according to accounts from police and friends.”

Police found the victim in the 3800 block of Gramercy Street NW after being called there about 9:20 p.m. They called it a very safe neighborhood.

“He wanted some fresh air and decided to take a walk,” Rosenbaum’s brother, Marcus Rosenbaum, told The Washington Post. He said his brother was found by a neighbor who called 911 and waited with him until help arrived.

Marcus Rosenbaum, a senior editor at National Public Radio, said a credit card company had called his brother’s home Saturday morning and reported that someone had been trying to use one of his credit cards.

“David was one of the most accomplished journalists of his generation in Washington,” Philip Taubman, the Times’ Washington bureau chief, told the Washington Post last night.

“He could do anything, and he did so many things brilliantly,” Taubman said. “He was an all-time great, versatile reporter who could tackle any subject” and wrote about the most abstruse matters, particularly in financial areas, with “remarkable lucidity, speed” and sophistication.

A graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia University, Rosenbaum grew up in Tampa, Fla., and worked for The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, a chain of suburban newspapers in London and Congressional Quarterly in Washington before joining the Times bureau in Washington in 1968.

Except for a three-year stint as a special projects editor in New York in the early 1980s, Rosenbaum spent the remainder of his career with the Times’ Washington bureau in a wide range of reporting and editing positions.

He shared the 1990 George Polk Award for National Reporting with a fellow Times reporter for their coverage of federal budget battles.

Rosenbaum retired just last month, but kept his old desk, and planned to keep contributing articles to the paper about politics and politicians, the Times reported.

“He was a reporter with a deep understanding of policy, and of the interaction between policy and politics,” Robert D. Reischauer, the former head of the Congressional Budget Office and a frequent news source, told the Times. “All of us tend to speak in jargon. He would say: ‘Come on! Explain it, explain.’ He would get enough from several of us to then turn it into something the average reader would find understandable and interesting.

“He was one who wanted to peel back the layers of the onion from the smooth and superficial that the spinmeisters would like us to think is the real world, to the core that makes your eyes start to cry.”

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