In Memoriam: William Rivers Pitt (1971-2022)

William Rivers Pitt was Truthout’s lead columnist and senior editor. He died on September 26, 2022, at the age of 50. In his two decades at Truthout, Will chronicled and analyzed the political issues of the day, from George W. Bush’s administration and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the rise and fall of Donald Trump, to the dangers of the ongoing pandemic. (Click here to visit an archive of all of Will’s columns.)

Will was a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn’t Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America’s Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book is The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co-written with Dahr Jamail.

More than just a colleague, Will was also a friend to many here at Truthout, both current and past staff members. Truthout Board President and Editor-at-Large Maya Schenwar notes that Will reminded us that the fate of the world is not decided — “we can’t predict the future: We have to do the future.” Dahr Jamail, a Truthout contributing writer, Board of Advisers member and former staff reporter, offered this reflection on his personal friendship and professional relationship with Will. Mark Karlin (retired), recalls that Will had a “powerful voice that acknowledged the obstacles facing us as advocates of social justice, while at the same time urging fierce resistance despite those obstacles.” Beloved by readers, as well as his family and friends, Will is memorialized in a public Facebook group. You can support a fund for his daughter Lola here.

In honor of William Rivers Pitt, Truthout is establishing a new fellowship to nurture the work of emerging opinion writers. This paid position will see the hiring of a 20-hour-per-week column writing fellow whose work will focus on political commentary. We hope you’ll read and enjoy this fellow’s articles for years to come as part of our way of honoring Will’s legacy.

If you’d like to make a financial contribution to help us fund this fellowship you can donate any amount here.