David J. Morrow, who led TheStreet.com as editor in chief for eight years and delivered some of the company's biggest successes, died Monday night after a monthlong battle with cancer. He was 49.
Morrow -- "Dave" to anyone who knew him -- led TheStreet's editorial teams from 2001 to 2009 before becoming the first Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada.
During his 27-year journalism career, Dave left his imprint on many of the most influential media of our time, including SmartMoney magazine, The New York Times, The Detroit Free Press and Fortune magazine.
At TheStreet, Dave's vision of no-nonsense journalism with an original voice is embodied in columns such as "The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street," among other initiatives. He encouraged reporters to write in their own style and always have something unique to say.
Dave Morrow, 1960-2010
During his eight years as Editor in Chief, Dave's uncompromising drive for journalistic originality and success brought considerable growth and acclaim to the Web site. With Dave at the helm, TheStreet.com won five Society of American Business Editors and Writers Awards; one Loeb Award, with five nominations in total; two New York Press Club awards; one Webby nomination; two Codie Award nominations, four Online Journalism Award nominations and four awards from the Media Industry Newsletter (min).
Those accomplishments culminated in Dave winning Min's 2007 award for Best Editor of a Web Site and subsequently being inducted into Min's Digital Hall of Fame.
Underneath the drive to succeed, Dave was a true original with an oversized heart. He cared deeply about his readers, his staff, his colleagues, his friends and his family. Dave possessed a rare combination of Southern charm and Yankee brashness that made his high hopes and expectations for everyone and everything both motivational and filled with genuine good humor.
There was a unique, bigger-than-life quality to Dave that is hard to do justice. He had a style all his own, from his love of Prada to his penchant for picking the most expensive wines on the menu. Gracious and generous, Dave always refilled your glass before ordering another bottle. When Dave gathered with friends and colleagues after work, he owned the room with his legendary tales of encounters with luminaries ranging from Fortune 500 CEOs to Hollywood royalty.
David J. Morrow lived life on his own terms and left his mark on all who knew him. His passing is a great loss to the world of journalism, his family, his many friends and colleagues.
As a tribute to this journalistic champion, I invite all who knew Dave to add their voices to this homage by posting a comment, so that we can all honor this man who meant so much to so many.
In Dave's honor, a scholarship fund has been established to aid financial journalism students and honor superior business journalism.
The "Dave Morrow Prize for Audacious and Talented Journalists" will be hosted by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, where Dave was a board member, in cooperation with Dave's family.
Contributions were kicked off Thursday with a $50,000 pledge from Jim Cramer, co-founder and chairman of TheStreet.com.
Donations in the form of checks should be made payable to the Dave Morrow Prize and sent to SABEW, University of Missouri - Columbia, School of Journalism, 134 Neff Annex, Columbia MO, 65211-1200. Make credit card donations by calling SABEW's Vicki Edwards, (573) 882-2878. SABEW is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, and donations will be tax deductible. SABEW's tax identification number is 36-3297751.