NPR books editor Petra Mayer dies at 46

Petra Mayer, books editor for NPR’s Culture desk, died suddenly on Saturday at age 46, the media organisation announced.

Doctors believe Mayer died of a pulmonary embolism at Holy Cross Hospital in Maryland, said Nancy Barnes, NPR’s senior vice president for news, in an email to staff, reports USAToday

“Petra was NPR through and through,” Barnes wrote. “To say that Petra will be missed simply seems inadequate.”

“This is a heartbreaking loss for all of us at NPR, our Member Stations, and the millions of listeners in the public radio family,” NPR said in a statement provided to USA TODAY. “Petra’s passion for her work, her love for her colleagues, and her joy sharing books with public radio listeners have made a lasting impact. We extend our deepest sympathy to her family & friends.”

Mayer first joined NPR in 1994 as an engineering assistant while she attended Amherst College, according to NPR. A few years later, she served as a news writer for NPR affiliate WBUR in Boston and received a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University before rejoining NPR in 2000.

She served as a weekend associate producer and director for the media outlet’s show “All Things Considered,” and worked as a production assistant for “Morning Edition” and “Weekend Edition Saturday” before joining the NPR books team in 2012.

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