The David Carr Generation

Mikaela Lefrak, the Atlantic:

[David Carr] had an unusual gift for recognizing young talent, and an equally unusual willingness to pull that talent up the ladder with him. He hired us for internships and jobs, edited our stories, sent out emails on our behalf, invited us to meetings we were really too junior to be a part of, and introduced us to his most successful and famous friends. But most important of all was this: He told us again and again that we had something special. We were smart, he told us. We were worthy. And we believed him, because he was the best guy we knew.

For The Atlantic’s series on mentorship, “On the Shoulders of Giants,” I spoke with over a dozen of the writers, thinkers, artists, and family members who benefited from Carr’s guidance. What follows are their stories about when Carr acted as their champion, and what he taught them about being a mentor.

Last night, I watched Vanessa Gould’s excellent film “Obit”, which features interviews with members of the New York Times’ obituary team. It’s a very funny, heartwarming, and earnest documentary, but there were times when it was pretty hard to watch — primarily, for me, when Carr’s obituary briefly appeared onscreen. Carr’s masterful command of the English language has long influenced how I write here. Lefrak’s piece shows just how amazing a human being he really was for so many.