Mark Fineman, one of the L.A. Times staff writers in Iraq, died this morning of an apparent heart attack suffered in Baghdad. He was 51. LATimes.com reports:
In a nearly 18-year career with the Times, his travels took him over much of the world. He had been the Times' bureau chief in the Philippines, India, Cyprus and Mexico City. Before moving to Washington several years ago, he had been the paper's Caribbean correspondent, based in Florida.
Dressed in a denim shirt and suede jacket, a cigarette often between his fingers and his blond hair tied back in a pony tail that reached below his shoulder, Fineman was able to move into a foreign society and write about all aspects of its culture -- about the down-trodden, about business, about violent uprisings -- all in a foreign correspondent's day's work.
His work was singled out on Monday by the on-line journal Slate, commenting on coverage of a mortar attack on the Abu Ghraid prison late Saturday:
"The LAT's Mark Fineman, who files the best dispatch on the mortar attack, reminds that the prison has been coming under almost nightly mortar fire."
He is survived by his widow, Michelle Prosser-Fineman, two stepdaughters and a brother.