David Bloom, 39, NBC News Reporter in Iraq, has just died

Sam Sloan  sloan@ishipress.com
David Bloom, 39, NBC News Reporter in Iraq, has just died
Sun Apr 6 15:51:06 2003

David Bloom, 39, NBC News Reporter in Iraq, has just died

Those of us who have been watching the hourly NBC News Reports of the War
in Iraq are shocked to learn that the main news reporter, David Bloom, has

What is more surprising is that it is being reported that he did not die as
a direct result of the war such as being hit by a missile or gunfire, but
because of an illness he got while covering the war.

NBC correspondent David Bloom has died of a pulmonary embolism, the network
reported this morning.

David Bloom was embedded with US Troops as they fought their way up Iraq.
Bloom scored what many believe to be a first: broadcasting live reports as
the American armored column he was traveling with fought its way north
through the Iraqi desert.

Bloom was covering the war on a specially modified M-88 tank recovery
vehicle that allowed him to file live reports during the divisions campaign
from Kuwait to the outskirts of Baghdad. Bloom and his cameraman mounted a
gyrostabilized camera to produce jiggle-free video even when the M-88 was
bumping along at 50 mph or more. An antenna transmitted the signal in
real-time from its own gyrostabilized platform to an overhead satellite,
which relayed it to NBC.

I have just finished watching David Bloom on the TV News. He looked
perfectly healthy to me. It is difficult to believe that he could have died
of an illness just minutes later. Conspiracy theories anyone?

Sam Sloan - sloan@ishipress.com

NBC's David Bloom Dies Covering Iraq War
NBC Reporter and Weekend 'Today' Anchor David Bloom Dies of Blood Clot While Covering Iraq War

The Associated Press

NEW YORK April 6 —

NBC News correspondent David Bloom, one of the network's most prominent young stars and a near constant television presence reporting from the Iraqi desert, died Sunday from an apparent blood clot, the network said.

The 39-year-old co-anchor of the weekend "Today" show was about 25 miles south of Baghdad and packing gear early in the morning when he suddenly collapsed.

He never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead from a pulmonary embolism after being airlifted to a nearby field medical unit, said Allison Gollust, a spokeswoman for NBC News. She said his death was not combat-related.

Bloom was the second American journalist to die while covering the war. Michael Kelly, editor-at-large for The Atlantic Monthly and a columnist for The Washington Post, was killed Thursday night along with a U.S. soldier when their Humvee plunged into a canal.

Both Bloom and Kelly were traveling with the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division.

NBC News had built a special vehicle, dubbed the "Bloom-mobile," to send strikingly clear pictures of him riding atop a tank through the Iraqi desert. He reported memorably on the sandstorms that briefly delayed American forces.

"He was both a genuinely nice guy and an incredibly tenacious reporter," NBC News President Neal Shapiro said. "He wouldn't be beaten on a story. He always kept us in the game."

From the Iraqi desert, Bloom reported on what the American forces were doing militarily, but he also took the time to convey what their lives were like there, including the meals they were eating and what it was like trying to work in the middle of a sand storm.

"He was a rising star here," Shapiro said.

Bloom, a native of Edina, Minn., lived in the New York area with his wife, Melanie, and three daughters. After attending Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., Bloom started his career as a reporter for NBC-owned WTVJ in Miami in 1989. He joined NBC News in Chicago in 1993, moving to Los Angeles in 1995.

He became a White House correspondent for NBC in 1997, during the Clinton administration. He reported on presidential races, the O.J. Simpson trial, the Washington-area sniper shooting and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Former President Clinton said Sunday that Bloom's "integrity and good humor will be missed."

"David Bloom was a smart, energetic professional whose enthusiasm for the job was evident in every question he asked and every story he covered," Clinton said.

Shaken NBC colleagues, including "Today" co-anchor Soledad O'Brien, paid tribute on the network's broadcasts Sunday. "It's a hard morning for all of us," Katie Couric said.

Bloom, who had no apparent health problems, was indefatigable during the Gulf War. He reported at all hours for NBC News broadcasts, and also for the cable outlets MSNBC and CNBC.

On the Monday after the war started, Bloom delivered live reports at 2:22 a.m. ET for MSNBC, at 6:55, 7:09 and 8:04 for "Today," at 10:43 for NBC, 10:47 for MSNBC, 11:12 for NBC, 12:31 p.m. for NBC, 12:36 and 2:33 for MSNBC, at 6:37 for NBC's "Nightly News," and at 8:07 and 9:35 again for MSNBC, according to The Washington Post.

"Given the fact that we're filing at all hours of the day and night, you try to pace yourself and get a little sleep," Bloom told the Post. "You're sleeping with your knees propped up around you."

That may have been a risk factor: blood clots frequently form in legs when they've been immobilized and travel through the body, said Dr. Harold Palevsky, chief of pulmonary critical care with the University of Pennsylvania health system.

Dehydration can also be a factor. Palevsky said Army medics, trained and equipped to stop bleeding, may have been less prepared in the desert for a pulmonary embolism.

ABC News President David Westin said his network was deeply saddened by Bloom's death.

"David was a great journalist and a vigorous competitor; he made all of us better by the standards he set," Westin said. "Our thoughts are with his family, our friends and colleagues at NBC News, and all of our colleagues still in the field."

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


David Bloom

Co-Anchor, "Today," Weekend Edition

David Bloom has been co-anchor of the weekend editions of "Today" since March 2000. An extremely skilled and tenacious reporter, he also covered a number of major news stories for NBC News, including reporting from Israel on the escalating violence in the Middle East, the war on terrorism at home, and the recovery efforts from Ground Zero and the Washington, D.C. sniper story. Most recently, Bloom has been embedded with the U.S. Army's Third Infantry Division reporting on the war with Iraq.

Prior to joining "Today," Bloom was NBC News' White house Correspondent from 1997 to 2000. Covering the White House beat during one of the businest news cycles, Bloom reported on the Maryland Peace Summit with Yassir Arafat and Benjamin Netanyahu, on Operation Desert Fox and the NATO bombings in Kosovo. In addition, Bloom reported extensively on the impeachment of President Clinton and the Lewinsky scandal. He reported from the White House for all NBC News broadcasts, including "Nightly News with Tom Brokaw," "Today," MSNBC, NBC's 24-hour news and information network, and CNBC.

Prior to being named White House Correspondent, Bloom was a Los Angeles-based correspondent for NBC News since May 1995. In that capacity, he reported extensively on the Unabomber, the Freeman standoff and the war in Bosnia. He also covered Bob Dole's 1996 Presidential campaign and the O.J. Simpson criminal and civil trials.

Bloom first joined NBC News as a correspondent based in Chicago in 1993. Prior to that, he had been a general assignment and investigative reporter for WTVJ, the NBC-owned television station in Miami, since November 1989. While at WTVJ, Bloom contributed many reports to NBC News broadcasts.

He provided extensive coverage of the U.S. military buildup off Haiti for "NBC Nightly News" and "Today." He contributed a report about the police investigation and capture of a Florida serial killer for "Dateline NBC" and reported from Cuba during "Today's" trip to that country in 1991. He also covered other major news stories such as Hurricanes Andrew and Emily, the Somali famine, the Midwest floods, the ATF siege of Branch Dividians in Waco, Texas, the escape of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and the coup in Haiti.

Bloom is the co-recipient of the 1992 George Foster Peabody Award and an RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of Hurricane Andrew. He received a 1991 Regional Emmy Award for Investigative Journalism for his report on South Florida's role in the shipment of arms to Iraq.

Bloom attended Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif. from 1981 to 1985. A native of Edina, Minn., Bloom and his wife, Melanie, have three daughters.

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