We mourn the passing of Claudia Rosett, our colleague at Hudson, who died Saturday at 67.
Each of us knew Claudia from a different perspective. Melanie labored alongside her at the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page; Jack was a source and sounding board on national security matters. Both of us admired her as a powerful intellect and dogged reporter. She possessed the essential qualities of the best journalists: enormous curiosity, strong listening skills, and a nose for a good story. She was guided by fiercely held principles about human freedom.
Claudia was also delightful company. A conversation with her could take many turns. She was equally at home discussing monetary policy, nuclear nonproliferation, or the shortcomings of contemporary fiction, to name a few favored topics. She read widely—a habit she counseled young journalists to develop. Her breadth of knowledge was such that she could work quotes from free-market economist Milton Friedman, Romantic poet John Keats, and children’s novelist Laura Ingalls Wilder into a single conversation. When we visited her and her husband Tim Wilson at their home in the Finger Lakes a few years ago, the conversation was so invigorating that nobody wanted to say good night.
Highlights of her journalism career include exposing the Oil-for-Food corruption scandal at the United Nations; covering the Russian invasion of Chechnya; and monitoring Beijing’s abrogation of its one-country, two-systems promise on Hong Kong. Her short book, What to Do About the UN, argues that the international organization founded in 1945 as a vehicle to avert war and promote human freedom and dignity has instead become fraught with bigotry, fraud, abuse, and corruption.
One of her most memorable pieces of reporting took place on June 4, 1989, when she was present in Tiananmen Square as Chinese tanks rolled over unarmed, peaceful student protestors. In an article published in the Wall Street Journal the next day, she wrote, “With this slaughter, China’s communist government has uncloaked itself before the world.” Thirty-four years later, these words still ring true.
Requiescat in pace, Claudia.
— Jack David, Trustee and Senior Fellow
— Melanie Kirkpatrick, Senior Fellow