Joe Fitchett, former chief correspondent of the International Herald Tribune and editor of the Journal of European Affairs, died May 7, 2012, in Washington, D.C., of injuries sustained in a fall. He was 73.
Among the most knowledgeable analysts in global journalism, Joe could unravel for readers tangled threads of the French economy, intricacies of Arab art, or the missile capabilities of the Afghani Taliban.
Joe grew up in Huntington, W.Va. At Episcopal High School, he was valedictorian of his class and completed three years there with medals of distinction in almost every subject and a grade-point average of 98.6. He also founded the school literary magazine and won varsity letters in football, soccer, and tennis. At Princeton, Joe majored in English and was a member of Ivy and a devotee of Theatre Intime. He roomed with Frank Wisner.
At brushfire conflicts in the Middle East, he was a stringer for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications. In 1978 he joined the International Herald Tribune in Paris. From there for 25 years he wrote about everything from fatwas to fashion, reporting fearlessly and perceptively from Kurdistan to Morocco.
He leaves behind his beloved companion, Whitney, and her children, whom he adored. The class mourns his passing.