Journalist Nate Thayer Dies At 62, Nate Thayer Who Interviewed Pol Pot Cause Of Death

Pol Pot, the homicidal leader of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, was interviewed by Nate Thayer in 1997, giving him a huge scoop. Thayer died at age 62, his family said on Wednesday.

At his home in Falmouth, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, Rob Thayer found Thayer dead.

“He has numerous illnesses. For months, he suffered from a terrible illness “he told Agence France-Presse, his brother.

Nate Thayer spent years covering Cambodian politics and society, including the deadly Khmer Rouge government that overthrew the country in 1975 and was responsible for more than 1 million fatalities.

What happened to Nate Thayer?

In a letter from the previous year, Mr Thayer described his deteriorating condition, including how sepsis after foot surgery had left him unable to walk again.

He sent poetry odes to his dog Lamont during his final months as his health deteriorated. Lamont was his “best companion.”

Nate Thayer Cause od death

It was unclear when Robert Thayer’s brother passed away when his body was discovered on January 3, he claimed. According to the sibling, “He had various illnesses and was extremely unwell for many months.”

Robert Thayer’s death has been officially confirmed; however, the cause of his passing has not yet been disclosed. As a result, it is now unknown.

Who is Nate Thayer?

American freelance writer Nate Thayer lived from April 21, 1960, to January 3, 2023. He discussed violent wars, drug trafficking, human rights, and worldwide organised crime.

He is most well-known for having spoken with Pol Pot during his interview for the Far Eastern Economic Review’s Cambodia correspondent. Along with over 40 other newspapers, such as The Cambodia Daily and The Phnom Penh Post, Thayer contributed to Jane’s Defence Weekly, Soldier of Fortune, the Associated Press, and Jane’s Defence Weekly.

Nate Thayer, an American journalist who covered conflicts in Southeast Asian jungles and was the last Western reporter to speak with the murderous leader of the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot, passed away at his home in Falmouth, Massachusetts. He was 62.

Nate Thayer
Image Source: Bangkok Post

Nate’s Peak Career

The journalistic high point of Mr Thayer’s career was undoubtedly his coverage of Pol Pot’s final months, which brought him international recognition. Additionally, from 1975 to 1979, the “killing fields” legacy of the Khmer Rouge was critically illuminated by his work. The regime’s attempt to impose a radical agricultural Communist system resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians, among them academics, physicians, dissidents, and others.

According to a 1998 International Consortium of Investigative Journalists award, a page of history would have been lost to the world if he hadn’t spent years in the Cambodian wilderness.

Nate’s Moments with Pol Pot

A year prior, Mr Thayer had persuaded members of the Khmer Rouge divisions still in existence that Pol Pot should make peace with the former rebels who had turned against him.

Some shouted when Mr Thayer and an Asia Works Television cameraman, David McKaige, arrived at the remote Anlong Veng camp, “Crush, crush, crush Pol Pot and his gang.”

Mr Thayer described how Pol Pot was sentenced to life in prison and transported away in a Toyota Land Cruiser with tinted windows in the Far Eastern Economic Review.

As if they were royalty, “several people bowed reverently,” he wrote. Mr Thayer was denied the chance to interrogate Pol Pot.

Nate’s Early Life

Thayer was born in 1960 in Massachusetts. From 1980 until 1985, Harry E. T. Thayer served as the US ambassador to Singapore. The University of Massachusetts Boston was where Thayer completed his education.

He was a spokesperson for anti-draft rallies and protests at the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant while a member of the Boston-based Clamshell Alliance from 1980 to 1982.

Near the Thai-Cambodian border, Thayer started his career in Southeast Asia. In 1984, he took part in a research assignment for a school that interviewed 50 Cham victims of Khmer Rouge atrocities at the Nong Samet Refugee Camp.

After that, he returned to Massachusetts, where he briefly worked as the state’s Office of Handicapped Affairs’ Transportation Director. Thayer acknowledged, “I was dismissed.

Nightline controversy

Ted Koppel of ABC News allegedly orally agreed with Thayer to air trial footage on Nightline but then went back on his word. He took a copy of my videotape home with him.

I gave it to him for his guarantee that it would only be used for Nightline. After obtaining a copy of the tape, however, ABC News began sending videos, still photos, and even transcripts of my conversations to news outlets worldwide.

ABC News is supported by a solid legal and public relations team. He printed the words “ABC News Exclusive” on still photos from the tape before hand-delivering them to media outlets like newspapers, wire services, and television.

Mr Thayer started a five-year storm of grievances and repeated monetary demands.

Honors and awards

Many of the best names in the region’s reporting have left their imprint in the pages of the Review, including the famed Richard Hughes of Korean War fame and Nate Thayer, the author who named Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge commander Pol Pot.

In addition, Thayer was the only recipient of a prestigious Peabody Award in 57 years to turn it down because he did not want to share it with ABC News’ Nightline, who, in his opinion, had plagiarised his work and cheated both him and the Far Eastern Economic Review out of money.

The Nate Thayer Scholarship has been awarded by Hofstra University’s Department of Journalism and Mass Media Studies in the School of Communication since 1999 to an eligible student with an excellent idea for an international story. Based on their academic accomplishments, the winners are picked.

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