Robert Pear

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Robert Pear
Born(1949-06-12)June 12, 1949
DiedMay 7, 2019(2019-05-07) (aged 69)
Alma mater
Years active1974-2019

Robert Lawrence Pear (June 12, 1949 – May 7, 2019) was an American journalist based in Washington D.C who worked at The Washington Star from 1974 to 1979 before joining The New York Times in 1979, where he was employed until his death. He was best known for his health care policy reporting.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Pear was born on June 12, 1949, to Philip and Marion Pear, in Washington, D.C. Forced by his father to read the front page of the newspaper before being allowed to read the sports section, he became interested in journalism after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.[3]

Pear was a classmate of future Democratic senator Chuck Schumer at Harvard University, where he earned the nickname "the deacon" for his manners and studiousness.[4] In 1971, he graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in English history and literature before earning a master's degree in philosophy from Balliol College and a master's degree in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.[1]

Professional work[edit]

Pear began working for The Washington Star in 1974, leaving the newspaper shortly before its closure in 1979 to join The New York Times' Washington bureau.[1] His byline appeared on more than 6,700 stories published by the Times, with the last one being published on April 20, 2019, shortly before his death.[5]

His output has been described as "meticulous" and "authoritative" by other journalists, who praised his work in the field of health care policy reporting.[3] Articles written by Pear were closely watched by Washington politicians.[3]


Pear died aged 69 on May 7, 2019 in his home in Rockville, Maryland from complications of a stroke.[3] Both Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Chuck Grassley paid tribute to Pear in speeches in the Senate.[4][6]


  1. ^ a b c Roberts, Sam (2019-05-08). "Robert Pear, Authoritative Times Reporter on Health Care, Dies at 69". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  2. ^ Balluck, Kyle (2019-05-08). "Longtime New York Times health care reporter Robert Pear dead at 69". TheHill. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  3. ^ a b c d Roberts, Sam (2019-05-09). "Robert Pear — NY Times reporter was health policy expert — dies at 69". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  4. ^ a b Lesniewski, Niels (2019-05-08). "Schumer remembers 'the deacon' — Robert Pear of The New York Times". Roll Call. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  5. ^ Friedman, Ryan (2019-05-08). "Longtime New York Times Reporter Dies After Complications From Stroke". TheWrap. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  6. ^ "Grassley Pays Tribute to NYT Reporter Robert Pear". Retrieved 2019-05-10.

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