NPR remembers Petra Mayer

Editorial Director Greg Smith, Chief Technology Officer and program director Richard Wells, and the NPR News and Technology teams share their memories of Petra Mayer, Reading Project editor at NPR’s Digital News Division and…

NPR remembers Petra Mayer

Editorial Director Greg Smith, Chief Technology Officer and program director Richard Wells, and the NPR News and Technology teams share their memories of Petra Mayer, Reading Project editor at NPR’s Digital News Division and publications editor for two of its news divisions, NPR News and NPR BOR.

“NPR was hit hard today when we learned that Peta Mayer died at 46, a truly remarkable journalist and atypical wife and mother. Peta was our brilliant Reading Project editor, a trailblazer in science writing and storytelling at NPR and author of many of the brilliant books that have been embraced by millions of readers around the world. Peta’s heart was uniquely warm: one of her secret passions was helping to support youth at risk, and she helped foster countless projects around that passion. As her husband Ted Mayer put it, Peta was ‘the opposite of a hack journalist,’ someone who made wonderful media work and enjoyed a high-five with colleagues and readers at the same time. The search for Peta has already begun, and I hope that, if you know where she might be, you will consider sharing the information and resources with her family and friends. She will be dearly missed.”

“People have always asked if, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would prefer my ashes be scattered in rural Greenland in the footsteps of explorer Thor Heyerdahl, who flew a balsa raft across the Pacific in 1947 in search of his ancestral homeland. I wouldn’t mind a visit to Eureka this evening but only after my wife Peta passes away.”

“I’m sad. My good friend, colleague and mentor Peta Mayer has passed. She was a brilliant, fearless, incisive journalist and author, and she did it with warmth, wit and a great sense of humor. We’ll miss her deeply, and our thoughts are with her family.”

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