Thank you, Steve Buttry, for being journalism’s friend

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Steve Buttry during a hangout in what seems like many years ago.

Journalist, teacher and all-around nice guy Steve Buttry died on Sunday.

Steve was an indomitable advocate of journalism and a consummate optimist with a penchant for distilling lessons out of every situation, including his own mortality.  He even found time to impart lessons and send notes to friends and colleagues during his last days.

He was a writer’s writer and a teacher’s teacher, the old dog teaching the new tricks.  His wisdom and enthusiasm for learning have become part of many journalists’ DNA. And we’re all better for it.

He made sense of the profession he loved so much and helped it immensely through his writing, workshops and classes. He truly cared, and it was as evident in real life as it was via hangout or email and even his tweets.

And he was a friend. “I just want to tell you that I really value our friendship,” he wrote to me as he said goodbye, even though I didn’t deserve it, my presence having been a small tag in his immense life and career. But that was Steve.

I am thankful that I crossed paths with him, and I’ll try to carry his lessons.

Goodbye, friend.

Memorial tributes should be contributed to LSU’s Stephen Buttry Scholarship Fund.


  • Lici Beveridge

    Omg. I just now saw this. It’s the first I heard about his passing. I never met Steve, but have much respect for him and his journalistic endeavors. He taught me so much. It is a sad day for our profession to lose someone who contributed so much.

    • ivanlajara

      His teachings were vast, and his lessons will live on in many newsrooms.

      • Lici Beveridge