A former Brooklyn Paper reporter died on Monday, about eight months after she suffered a severe brain injury while pregnant.
Sarah Portlock, who most recently wrote and edited for the Wall Street Journal, will be remembered by her colleagues at the Paper as a talented newswoman who balanced a tenacious pursuit of fact with a heartfelt compassion for people, her former editor said.
“Sarah was one of the greatest young reporters I’ve ever mentored. She was a dogged journalist first and foremost, but she had a humanity and sincerity that impressed everyone she met,” said Gersh Kuntzman, now a breaking-news editor at Newsweek. “Her death is a great loss for the business, and for the planet.”
Portlock joined this newspaper’s staff in 2008 and quickly accrued bylines reporting on stories across North Brooklyn, including bitter disputes over new developments and complaints over the Ikea shuttle-bus service. She also covered national politics — in the form of a local fund-raiser for then-presidential hopeful Barack Obama at which a stylist gave the young journalist a Sarah Palin-inspired haircut.
Portlock left the Paper in 2009 to report for the Star-Ledger in New Jersey, and joined the Journal as an economics reporter in 2012 before being appointed a day editor at the 128-year-old broadsheet in 2016.
Friends and acquaintances donated more than $76,000 to support Portlock and her family as she struggled through recovery in the months following her injury, when she slowly regained her ability to speak and move her body.
She is survived by her husband Sam and daughter Aviva, who was born earlier this year.
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