Remembering NYC Journalism Great Jim Dwyer

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The 9/11 Memorial & Museum sadly acknowledges the passing of Jim Dwyer, an all-time great of New York City journalism who chronicled four decades of city life as a reporter and columnist at New York Newsday, the Daily News, and The New York Times. Dwyer’s reporting and resulting books on the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and 9/11 remain essential. When consulted by our staff for his unparalleled expertise, he always responded generously and thoughtfully.

The New York Times obituary of the two-time Pultizer Prize winner and lifelong New Yorker captured the breadth of his work: 

"In prose that might have leapt from best-selling novels, Mr. Dwyer portrayed the last minutes of thousands who perished in the collapse of the World Trade Center’s twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001; detailed the terrors of innocent Black youths pulled over and shot by racial-profiling state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike; and told of the coronavirus besieging a New York City hospital," the obituary read.

As a reporter at New York Newsday, Dwyer covered the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and would go on to write Two Seconds Under the World in 1994, a definitive account documenting what is now recognized as the first, heralding attack at the World Trade Center. 

After covering the events of 9/11 as a metro reporter, Dwyer collaborated with his New York Times colleagues on "102 Minutes," a compelling investigation that stitched together, second by fateful second, what happened in the time between hijacked Flight 11’s crash into the North Tower and the collapse of both buildings. Published in book form in 2005, 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, chronicled the communication problems experienced by first responders, the last moments of people trapped in the Twin Towers, and the harrowing accounts of survivors who lived to tell their stories.  

"When I see the bylines of certain reporters, I will read whatever they write. Jim Dwyer of The New York Times is one of those," said media ethicist Roy Peter Clark, of the Poynter Institute, in a tribute to Dwyer when he was still alive;  "Jim has become, in my mind, the prose-poet of 9/11. The journalist who has, with a special decency and power, managed to chronicle the lingering effects of a horrible day." 

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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