Michael J. Feeney, the 32-year-old award-winning journalist who previously served as the president of the New York Association of Black Journalists, died Sunday after a brief stay in the hospital.
The journalist, who was set to begin his dream job as a CNN.com entertainment reporter in Atlanta, died from complications from a staph infection in his kidneys, The New York Daily News reports. He was admitted to Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, N.J. Tuesday, his mother told the news site. Feeney went into cardiac arrest around 1:15 p.m. Sunday.
Feeney joined the Daily News as a reporter in 2009. In 2011, he became the president of NYABJ, just a year after the National Association of Black Journalists named him the emerging journalist of the year. The 2005 Delaware State University graduate also worked for The Associated Press and The Record of Bergen County.
“Mike did everything to help everyone,” his mother, Reba Willis, said Sunday. “He did whatever he could with any person who he came across who wanted to know anything about journalism and about life.”
News of his death rocked the journalism world, sending fellow reporters and colleagues to social media to share their experiences with the writer many are describing as an outstanding, giving, and selfless friend and professional.
“He was a dedicated leader of the organization and an outstanding journalist,” said Julie Walker, [NYABJ’s] current president.
“He looked out for me big-time when I got to the Daily News,” said former News reporter Jan Ransom. “Every source I met raved about him — and naturally, by association, that meant I was in their good graces, too.”
Rev. Al Sharpton also expressed condolences, calling Feeney a “good brother and fine journalist.”
Shortly after Feeney’s passing, a cousin took to Facebook to confirm the news, asking that friends keep the family in their prayers.
Feeney is survived by twin brother Anthony Feeney; a sister, Maria Feeney; a niece and a nephew.
Our prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.
SOURCE: NY Daily News | PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter