Tomás Eloy Martínez recalled for his writing and teaching legacy

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  • February 2, 2010

By Eduardo Gonzalez

Argentine journalist and writer Tomás Eloy Martínez, who died of cancer Sunday at 75, was one of the most accomplished writers of New Journalism, fusing journalistic storytelling with literary techniques, La Voz de Argentina recalls (Spanish). See the Buenos Aires Herald's obituary (in English).

Eloy Martínez was the most widely read and translated Argentine writer and was especially known for his works on former president Juan Perón (The Perón Novel) and his wife Eva (Santa Evita). He began his career as a copy editor at La Gaceta de Tucumán (which recalls his first steps in journalism in this story). At the time of his death, he was a columnist for La Nación of Argentina, El País of Spain, and The New York Times.

Known for his long professional trajectory, he played a key role in creating the New Ibero-American Journalism Foundation (founded in Colombia by Gabriel García Márquez), where he also taught several workshops.

One of his former students at Rutgers University, journalist Ruxandra Guidi, writes for the Americas Quarterly blog, "I am having a hard time imagining the future of journalism and literature in Latin America without Tomás. At a time when the media and publishing worlds are undergoing such an identity crisis, and we’re all scrambling for ways to keep newspapers and books relevant, Tomás personified the best advice: perseverance. I, for one, will do my best to keep that little obsession alive."

Read more in the Spanish version of this post.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.