Erik Izraelewicz, the editorial director of the French daily Le Monde, died suddenly on Tuesday at the age of 58.
Izraelewicz was overseeing the production of the paper when he was said to have felt unwell before suffering a heart attack, reported The Guardian. A journalist with medical experience attempted to revive him before paramedics arrived at the Paris office. He was taken to the hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.
Izraelewicz was named head of the publication, known for its left-leaning politics, in February 2011 after it was bought by a trio of businessmen. According to Agence France-Presse, he had previously run the Les Echos and La Tribune dailies, and was also on the boards of the weekly publications Courrier international and Telerama.
The New York Times reported that before joining the two papers, Izraelewicz had worked as a journalist at Le Monde, where he was once posted in New York.
“From the Anglo-Saxon world, which he knew well, he adopted his professional codes, but also a certain coolness and a great sense of humor,” the paper’s journalists said in a statement.
Co-workers said Izraelewicz was known for working long hours and had guarded his private life well, the Times went on to say. A native of Alsace, he graduated from HEC, one of the elite schools attended by much of the French ruling and intellectual class.
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French President François Hollande made a statement Tuesday night, saying it was with "profound sadness" that he had learned of Izraelewicz's sudden death.
"I will remember him as a respected economist and a recognized professional as well as a man who was as demanding as he was generous," Hollande said in a message of condolence to family, friends and colleagues, according to The Guardian. "France has lost a journalist of great talent, respected by everyone."