Mark Colvin, a respected and award-winning Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist, who fell ill while covering the Rwandan genocide, has died at the age of 65.
What was his cause of death?
According to ABC News, Colvin had battled a rare auto-immune disease for 20 years. ABC reported that his “battle with ill health started in 1994 when he contracted Wegener’s granulomatosis, a rare illness that affects the bloodstream, while covering the Rwandan genocide.”
However, he later contracted skin cancer and then was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, reported The Guardian. “It was his wish that his last illness remain private and he spent his last weeks in Prince of Wales Hospital with his sons Will and Nicholas,” reported The Guardian.
The Australian network is Australia’s national public broadcaster. Colvin was regarded as an Australian “broadcasting giant.” The Guardian reported that Colvin died at a Sydney hospital.
According to the Guardian, he ran the “flagship current affairs show PM on ABC Radio for 20 years.”
He was also remembered as the “man who watched the world for Australia.”
“Today we lost our believed Mark,” his family said in a statement on May 10.
He was lauded for his “depth of knowledge.”
The ABC story reporting his death quoted Colvin as saying of the Rwandan reporting, “The degree of death and suffering was absolutely extraordinary … there were fields of people lying in their own excrement and vomit … people dying of cholera and typhoid and I don’t know what else.”
According to ABC News, “Colvin fell gravely ill on his return to London, suffering from severe fluid build-up and kidney failure.” In 2013, he had a kidney transplant, ABC reported.
In February 2017, ABC reported that Colvin’s kidney transplant was turned into a play called “Mark Colvin’s Kidney.” He received the organ from Mary-Ellen Field, a business adviser he interviewed. According to 9 News, “the pair developed a friendship during an interview about the News of the World phone hacking scandal in the United Kingdom.”
Other journalists lauded Colvin as a giant in the profession, especially in Australian media.
Colvin’s Twitter page described him as “Presenter of PM, ABC Radio. Lifetime Lance-Corporal in the Awkward Squad. In bookshops now from MUP: ‘Light and Shadow, Memoirs of a Spy’s Son.'”