Tuesday, January 29, 2008

When Real Life Interrupts

Our heartfelt condolences go out to Boston Globe sportswriter and ESPN personality Bob Ryan, whose son Keith Ryan was found dead of an apparent suicide in Pakistan Monday.

Just awful news.
Growing up in Hingham, Keith Ryan held his political beliefs so strongly that he seemed like a real-life version of a popular TV character who was considerably more conservative than everyone else in his household.

"We used to kid when he was in high school that it was like 'Family Ties' -- he was Alex Keaton," said Mr. Ryan's father, Bob, a sports columnist for the Globe.

His political convictions brought Mr. Ryan into a career of federal service, which ultimately led to Pakistan, where he was an attache for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, based in Islamabad. Mr. Ryan apparently took his life, according to the US State Department, and was found today in his Islamabad residence. He was 37 and was about to return home to visit his wife and three children in Silver Spring, Md.

"As anyone who has been confronted with the suicide of a family member can tell you, the only word to describe the sensation is devastated," Bob Ryan said. "We will always have questions."

The US Embassy in Pakistan issued a statement praising Mr. Ryan, who, his father said, had been stationed in Islamabad since December 2006.

"Mr. Ryan was a well-respected, trusted, and longtime member of the US Mission in Pakistan," the statement said. "His death is a great loss.
Meanwhile another noted ESPN figure, the Washington Post's and Pardon the Interruption's Michael Wilbon, apparently suffered a minor heart attack Monday.
Michael Wilbon, the famed Washington Post sports columnist and co-host of ESPN's "Pardon The Interruption", suffered a minor heart attack early Monday morning.

According to reports, Wilbon complained of chest pains to his wife around 3 a.m. She then took him to the hospital. Doctors found minor blockage in his heart and performed an angioplasty, which successfully removed the blockage.
We wish him the best for a speedy recovery.

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