EULOGY: Diplomat Richard Holbrooke Remembers Kurt in Time Magazine

June 5, 2000

Some people will say that Kurt Schork 's death in an obscure war was senseless. And of course they are right: if only he had not taken that last turn or, better yet, not been there at all. But Kurt, one of two journalists killed last week by Sierra Leone rebels, died doing what he wanted to do. He was perhaps the finest war correspondent of his generation. Because he worked for a wire service and his byline rarely appeared in print, almost no one had heard of him. Yet everyone reading this tribute also read his articles. Those of us who went into war zones usually found Kurt waiting for us, casual yet intense, bearded in later years, his wire-rim glasses perched above an energetic smile, sardonic yet engaged. I would take him aside to find out what was really happening. He always knew more than the United Nations and the diplomats. Unlike many great war correspondents, he seemed oblivious to the lures of fame; when I asked him why he stayed with Reuters, he said, "They let me do what interests me." Kurt believed that if he could tell the "civilized" world what was going on in the most remote parts of the planet, then the world would do something. Bosnia proved him right. He took enormous risks to make a difference. If only he had taken a different turn.

-- Richard Holbrooke, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations