Ward Room writer Mark Anderson died Monday night at the age of 51 after a nearly year -long battle with cancer.
Anderson joined Ward Room in 2013 and dived in headfirst into covering the city’s progressive movement until he was diagnosed with aggressive cancer on March 4, 2014.
He wrote about his diagnosis here in July. He leaves behind a wife, Sarah.
Anderson officially resigned from Ward Room on February 10, 2015. His illness made it impossible for him to do the work necessary to meet his own exacting political journalism standards. He died weeks later.
He wrote about his resignation in a journal entry on a site he had just launched called Chicago Survivor.
… I’m proud of the work I was able to do. Ward Room allowed me to go after essentially any topic I wanted, and I tended to go after what I saw as those critical but under-the-radar stories so often underplayed or ignored by Chicago’s political media glitterati.
Whether it was inside baseball stories such as the Chicago City Council’s attempt to shroud itself from any ethics oversight whatsoever, the ongoing but often little-noticed work the Council’s Progressive Reform Caucus undertook to push back on the Mayor’s agenda, or the bigger but complex issues such as the relationship between pensions, pay-to-play and campaign finance in the highest offices in the city and state or just the series of broken promises and cruel policies enacted by politicians here or downstate, what mattered was the chance to shine a light on those in power and the suffering of those who aren’t.
Anderson’s friends and colleagues have asked for help to defray some costs for his services.