When David died in February 2015 of what turned out to be lung cancer, Simon & Schuster went back to press with The Night of the Gun. That was a Thursday night and it was ranked No. 53,570 on the Amazon best-sellers list. Twenty-four hour later, Amazon listed it as “temporarily out of stock”—and it had jumped to No. 7 on the overall list.
The tributes that came from what seemed every possible direction reflected the crisscrossing of David’s eclectic reporting interests (media, culture, politics, technology), and all mentioned that he had been a junkie. But there was much more about his loyalty, his unselfishness as a reporter and what a steadfast mentor he had been to many. He was teaching by then at Boston University, which made complete sense because, as he would put it, aren’t reporters fundamentally teachers at heart, anyway? Educate yourself and then pass it on to as big an audience as you can find.
—From The Accidental Life, by Terry McDonell