Remembering Bernard Estrade, a friend and AFP legend

By Joel Simon/CPJ Executive Director on March 21, 2011 3:44 PM ET

Legendary Agence France-Presse correspondents Bernard Estrade died last week in Paris after a long illness. He was one of the great reporters of his era and a great friend of CPJ.

I got to know Bernard through his wife, Kathleen Hunt, an award-wining foreign correspondent who made the transition to policy and humanitarian work in recent years. Bernard and Kate made a dashing couple at the CPJ benefit dinner, and I always loved catching up with Bernard about the state of journalism (bad) and the state of the world (also bad).

Over the course of his 40-year career with AFP, Bernard covered the world's most important stories, from the Lebanese civil war to the collapse of the Soviet Union. French Minister of Foreign Affairs Alain Juppé paid tribute to Bernard on Friday, praising a career defined by "intellectual rigor, courage and professionalism."

Kate wrote to me on Saturday to let me know about Bernard's passing. "The greatest--albeit heartbreaking--honor was to be with him at the very end, holding his hand, and reassuring him that his brilliance, courage, and unflinching standards as a journalist--especially as a war reporter--would be carried forth by a younger generation," she wrote.

Our condolences go out to Kate, to Bernard's family, and to his many friends. If anyone who knew Bernard would like to contribute their memories, we invite to you post a comment to this blog.


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