Michael Brick

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Christopher Michael Brick (June 21, 1974 – February 8, 2016) was an American journalist and songwriter. He worked as a freelance writer and as a writer for The New York Times. Brick was working for the Houston Chronicle at the time of his death from cancer.


Born in Cheverly, Maryland, Brick moved to Dallas as a teenager. He graduated from R. L. Turner High School in Carrollton and the University of Texas at Austin.[1] Brick worked as a research assistant for Kurt Eichenwald on the book The Informant. "Pretty soon, not only was he doing everything exceptionally, but I began to recognize his writing skills, which I hadn't been paying attention to. By the time he was finished working with me, it became clear to me that on a lot of levels he was better than me," Eichenwald said.[2]

Brick was on the staff of The New York Times from 2001 to 2008. He covered events including the Enron scandal and Hurricane Katrina with The New York Times.[1] He became a freelance writer in 2008.[3] In 2013 and 2014, he was an adviser for The Daily Texan, the student newspaper for which he had written when he attended UT Austin.[4] He joined the Houston Chronicle in 2014, and published a column known as The Sporting Life.[1]

Brick's 2012 book, Saving the School: The True Story of a Principal, a Teacher, a Coach, a Bunch of Kids, and a Year in the Crosshairs of Education Reform, told the story of the struggling Reagan High School in Austin, Texas.[1] Brick followed several teachers, a number of students, and the principal of the school as he was writing the book.[5] Patrick Welsh of The Washington Post said that the book "is a compelling, enlightening account of a school community rising to save itself."[6]

Brick wrote music and played guitar and mandolin. In college, he formed a band known as Bottle of Smoke, and later in Brooklyn, he started another band in Brooklyn called The Music Grinders.[2] He died of colon cancer in 2016.[7] He was survived by his wife and three children.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Whittaker, Richard (February 8, 2016). "Education reporter Michael Brick dead". The Austin Chronicle. Archived from the original on March 20, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Schiller, Dane (February 9, 2016). "Michael Brick, songwriter and journalist, remembered". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  3. ^ "In memoriam". University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  4. ^ Zhang, Amy (February 9, 2016). "Former Texan adviser Michael Brick dies at age 41". The Daily Texan. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  5. ^ Mooney, Michael J. (August 30, 2012). "Local author writes book that could change American education forever". D Magazine. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  6. ^ Welsh, Patrick (August 24, 2012). ""Saving the School: The True Story of a Principal, a Teacher, a Coach, a Bunch of Kids and a Year in the Crosshairs of Education Reform" by Michael Brick". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  7. ^ Slotnik, Daniel (February 8, 2016). "Michael Brick, former Times reporter, dies at 41". The New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2016.