Michael Hastings, a journalist best-known for a Rolling Stone article that ended the career of U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, has died in a car accident. He was 33.
The article in question, 'The Runaway General', appeared in a 2010 issue of the magazine, while McChrystal was the supreme commander of the U.S.-led offensive in Afghanistan. In it, the General made openly mocking comments about his civilian commanders in the White House.
President Obama recalled him to Washington, where McChrystal resigned his post. The article was a finalist for the National Magazine Award, and won the 2010 Polk Award for magazine reporting.
Writing about Hastings' life for Rolling Stone, Tim Dickinson says his decision to expose McChrystal's comments was typical: "Hastings' hallmark as a reporter was his refusal to cozy up to power," Dickinson writes.
"While other embedded reporters were charmed by McChrystal's bad-boy bravado and might have excused his insubordination as a joke, Hastings was determined to expose the recklessness of a man leading what Hastings believed to be a reckless war."
In fact, Hastings opposed U.S. actions in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He lost his then-fiancée, war correspondent Andrea Parhamovich, to a car bomb in Baghdad in 2007.
He wrote a memoir about the experience titled "I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story."
Hastings was a native of Vermont. The crash that took his life happened in Hollywood, and Hastings' vehicle was the only one involved, USA Today reports.
He leaves behind his wife, writer Elise Jordan.
Many have taken to Twitter to express their grief at the loss.
Most of us can only dream of being as talented a writer and journalist as @mmhastings was. He was only 33 years old. RIP— Andy Carvin (@acarvin) June 19, 2013
And Matt Farwell, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who worked with Hastings as a co-reporter on some of his pieces, contributed a memorial to Rolling Stone. Here's a segment:
"Michael was no stranger to trying to make sense of this kind of tragedy nor was he unfamiliar with the emptiness felt in the wake of a senseless, random death. After all, he'd already learned about it the only way he ever deemed acceptable for a non hack: first-hand. In the course of his reporting he figured this lesson out again and again in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the United States, and part of his passion stemmed from a desire to make everyone else wake the f*** up and realize the value of the life we're living.
"He did: He always sought out the hard stories, pushed for the truth, let it all hang out on the page... That's part of what makes this all so tough: exiting, he leaves us all with little more than questions and a blank sheet of paper. Maybe that's the challenge: to continue to use it to write the truth. I hope we can live up to that. He was a great friend and I will miss him terribly."