EXPIRED: 11/16/09 – David McClendon, 44, was diagnosed in March with sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease. Until his illness worsened, he was the associate editor of the Chi-Town Daily News, an online newspaper in Chicago, and taught journalism at the city’s Loyola University.
A burly, tall man, he was an imposing figure but was basically a kid at heart and was a kind and wonderful mentor to newsroom interns.
Born in blue-collar Elizabeth, New Jersey, he attended Elizabeth high school and Union County College before Temple University, Philadelphia, where he was a print major and president of the student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. When the black student union ran a white speaker from South Africa right off the campus David was level-headed and defended the man’s right to free speech.
After missing a week’s work due to hospitalization he was let go from his job and he stareted a blog to communicate to his readers about his disease. In July, he moved back to his parents’ home in New Jersey to recuperate. While on a trip to the grocery store to buy milk , his heart gave out and he collapsed. That was it.
On his blog, he wrote: “Disease will not define me. How I handle it will define me. I will fight it and win.”
Becasue he touched everyone he came in contact with, whether thtough personal contact or through his writing, McClendon did win.
Rest In Peace David.