laurie.jpgSenior fellow Laurie Becklund, an award-winning journalist and former staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, passed away Sunday night at her home in Hollywood from metastatic breast cancer. She was 66. The USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy mourns the loss of Becklund, who exemplified CCLP’s mission of shaping the future of news and civic discourse.

“Aileen and I knew and admired Laurie for more than 30 years,” said CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan. “She was a courageous reporter but an even more courageous cancer victim. We were lucky to have had her in our lives.”

Becklund spoke at Stanford’s Medicine X conference in late 2014 to share her personal battle with cancer and discuss the importance of big data in modern cancer treatment and research.

“She was born a reporter,” said journalist Barbara Kantrowitz to the Los Angeles Times, which published Becklund’s obituary on Monday. “Nothing was uninteresting to her, and journalism was the best way to make use of her talent.”

During her 25-year career in journalism, Becklund has won numerous awards for her investigations of issues ranging from the death squads in El Salvador to the “Coroner to the Stars” Thomas Noguchi. She was also a key writer on the Los Angeles Times team that won the Pulitzer Prize for covering the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

Becklund co-authored four books, including Swoosh: The Story of Nike and the Men Who Played There and Go Toward the Light, a Readers Digest book of the year which later became a CBS television film. After leaving the Times in 1993, Becklund covered the OJ Simpson case for CBS News and later developed a series of pioneering internet projects, including NetDayNews, SchoolWire, and Associated Student Press, a hyper-local news nonprofit that allowed student newspapers to work together.

Both the Los Angeles Times and LA Observed have published Becklund’s obituary, highlighting her inspirational career.