Veteran journalist Robert Fisk, who covered events in the Middle East and elsewhere as a foreign correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent for decades, has died after suffering a suspected stroke at his Dublin home. He became unwell on Friday and was admitted to St Vincent’s hospital where he died at the age of 74 a short time later, the Irish Times reported on Sunday.
As The Independent paid tribute to the journalist who was “renowned for his courage in questioning official narratives” and publishing “frequently brilliant prose”, “Fearless, uncompromising, determined and utterly committed to uncovering the truth and reality at all costs, Robert Fisk was the greatest journalist of his generation,” added Christian Boughton, editor of the Independent until last week and now managing director.
One of the few western reporters to interview al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Fisk won the Orwell Prize for Journalism, as well as receiving the British Press Awards International Journalist of the Year and Foreign Reporter of the Year on several occasions.
He wrote many books on the Northern Ireland and Middle East which included-The Point of No Return: The Strike Which Broke the British in Ulster; Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War; and The Great War for Civilisation – The Conquest of the Middle East.
During his decades-long career, he covered key international events including the Lebanese civil war, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iranian revolution, Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, conflicts in the Balkans and the Arab Spring. He also faced backlash over his constant criticism of the U.S.
Responding to the news of his death, Micheál Martin, the Irish taoiseach, tweeted: “Saddened tonight to hear of the death of journalist Robert Fisk. He was fearless & independent in his reporting, with a deeply researched understanding of the complexities of Middle Eastern history and politics. He helped many people understand those complexities better. RIP.”