I was deeply saddened today, to learn of the passing of John Solomon, author of the blog, “In Case of Emergency, Read Blog”.
John passed away Monday, November 1, from complications following a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. He was 47.
John’s articulate and insightful writings on preparedness and homeland security are among the best you will find, and his voice will be sorely missed.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate issued the following statement today.
“Sheree and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of John Solomon, a critical voice within our emergency management community. Like many of us, John knew the value of a prepared public, and worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the need to prepare our families, neighbors, workplaces, and communities for all hazards. Through his blog, he was able to deliver this message far beyond his own community, encouraging citizens to get involved and sharing key resources and opportunities for them to do so.
“John was both an important ally and critic of emergency managers. I always appreciated his willingness to offer candid assessments of where we stood as a country as far as preparedness, and respected his honest feedback about our work here at FEMA. He pushed all of us to always do more to engage and prepare the public – and set the standard for what it meant to be part of our nation’s emergency management team. Sheree’s and my thoughts are with John’s family and friends during this sad time. We will continue to do everything we can to honor what John stood for and carry on his fight – to create a prepared and resilient public.”
From Security Debrief
Last night, before turning off the lights to go to sleep, I got news that no one likes to receive. My friend and fellow homeland security blogger John Solomon passed away following complications from a stem cell transplant for treatment of leukemia. John had fought the disease a year or so before and had successfully beaten it back, but this past summer, it returned. The news was an absolute shock to me. From our most recent e-mails, I knew he was fighting the fight and had his good days and bad days, but he was still in the fight swinging and his life was going forward.
While there is by no means a formal association of homeland security bloggers, John was what I would call our gentle conscience. Despite the operational missteps or ineptitude that you often find in disasters of all shapes and sizes, his many words were never harsh, lecturing or ranting. Instead, they were the measured conversation that you might have with a friend over a cup of coffee in a corner diner. Making his living as a journalist, writing for outlets such as the New York Times, National Public Radio and USA Today, John’s beat allowed him to cover homeland security and other public policy areas.
Civic virtues, like the qualities suggested by the waning influence of the words excellence and pleasure and the values they imply, still move us. This was evident today by the reaction of those who knew or simply knew of John D. Solomon to the sad and shocking news of his untimely passing at the age of 47. John was the author and force of nature behind In Case of Emergency, Read Blog.
John was both an important ally and critic of emergency managers. I always appreciated his willingness to offer candid assessments of where we stood as a country as far as preparedness, and respected his honest feedback about our work here at FEMA. He pushed all of us to always do more to engage and prepare the public – and set the standard for what it meant to be part of our nation’s emergency management team.
John’s friend David Shenk broke the news of John’s death to the readers of John’s blog. He noted how immensely talented John was and how committed he was to the work of disaster preparedness. Readers of John’s New York Times obituary will note that his life was characterized by many stunning achievements. He clearly was a man who enjoyed life and the company of family and friends with whom he shared many fun times. As I reflect on my limited contact with John, however, it was the strength of his character and the pleasure he took in pursuing excellence and encouraging its pursuit in others that will remain with me as his lasting legacy.
Obituary – NY Times
John David. Beloved father of Sara and Rebecca, husband of Abby, son of Ann and Richard, brother of Jimmy, cherished friend to so many, passed away on November 1, 2010 at the age of 47. He died of complications from a stem cell transplant for treatment of leukemia. An accomplished journalist, John was a regular contributor to publications, including The Washington Post, The New York Times and USA Today, as well as to National Public Radio, on homeland security and other public policy topics. He was working on a book about emergency preparedness, to be published in 2011, called, “In Case Of Emergency, Read Book: Simple Steps To Prepare You and Your Family For Terrorism, Natural Disasters and Other 21st Century Crises.”