Longtime New York Times health care reporter Robert Pear dead at 69

Longtime New York Times health care reporter Robert Pear dead at 69
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Veteran New York Times health care reporter Robert Pear died Tuesday at the age of 69 following complications from a stroke, the newspaper reported.

During his four decades with the Times, Pear wrote more than 6,700 articles for the paper.

"Mr. Pear went about his reporting meticulously and, to the wider public, inconspicuously. Appearances as a talking head reporter on cable news were not for him," wrote the Times in its obituary, published Wednesday.

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"Colleagues described him as an almost sphinxlike good listener, working in the Washington bureau newsroom standing up at a specially built desk that he had gotten used to after undergoing back surgery," it added.

"Yet his reporting — exacting, authoritative and closely read, particularly in Washington — spoke volumes."

Former Health and Human Services press secretary Ben Wakana, who served under President Obama, tweeted that America "lost a public servant this week."

"Health care readers are poorer," he wrote. "But Robert Pear’s legacy of being the best in his field will only be surpassed by the compassion and kindness he showed those who knew him, and the respect he earned from all of us."

Prior to joining the Times, Pear worked at the Washington Star before the paper closed in 1981. He died in the Washington suburb of Rockville, Md.

Pear is only survived by his brother, Douglas.