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Updated: Former CWR editor George Neumayr dies with malaria while in Africa

Journalist and author George Neumayr, who died of malaria while reporting from Ivory Coast, Africa, is seen here in photos posted on his Twitter account earlier this month. (Images: Twitter)

Update (Jan 25, 2023): The Neumayr family has released a statement about George Neumayr’s death:

“It is with great sadness that the family of George Neumayr announces his untimely passing on January 19, 2023. He was abroad in Côte d’Ivoire, Africa, living out his passion for defending the Catholic Faith and the Church’s mission to save souls. He passed away after contracting malaria. The family is devastated by this sudden loss and requests prayers for the happy repose of his soul and the consolation of his family.”

——–`

The sad and shocking news broke this morning on social media that journalist and editor George Neumayr died of malaria while in Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (often referred to as Ivory Coast) in West Africa, where he had been visiting and reporting for The American Spectator.

The Lepanto Institute tweeted:

Regarding the death of @george_neumayr, here is what we know from CONFIRMED sources:
1) George was sick seven days ago.
2) George steadfastly refused to go to the hospital.
3) The US Consulate tested his body and confirmed that he tested positive for malaria.

Neumayr, who was in his late fifties, was my predecessor at Catholic World Report; he was editor from 2006 to 2011. I did not know George well, as our only correspondence consisted of a few work emails during his editorship.

Following his time at CWR, he wrote for a variety of Catholic publications and was a prolific senior editor and writer for The American Spectator. Noted for his pointed and often pugnacious style, he was the author of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats’ Crypto-Socialist? (Regnery, 2020), The Political Pope: How Pope Francis Is Delighting the Liberal Left and Abandoning Conservatives (Center Street, 2017), and co-author, with Phyllis Schlafly, of No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom (Regnery, 2012).

Dr. Paul Kengor, also a senior editor at The American Spectator, and a contributor to Catholic World Report, sent me the following note this morning:

I was so shocked and saddened to hear the news, which I received in a phone call this morning from Bob Tyrrell, the founder of The American Spectator. Bob was very close to George had treated him so kindly over the years, almost fatherly. I was editor to George at The American Spectator, which is ironic because a couple decades ago, George was editor to me at Catholic World Report. George recruited me to write for CWR, including some cover stories. He was a terrific editor, and an even better writer. His opening editorials for CWR were brilliant and never, ever dull. So were many of his columns for The American Spectator, where he began his writing career as an intern in the 1990s. Few could match his lively, colorful prose, not to mention his fearlessness. He will be missed. George has left us too soon.

Requiescat in pace!


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About Carl E. Olson 1197 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His recent books on Lent and Advent—Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021) and Prepare the Way of the Lord (2021)—are published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @carleolson.

40 Comments

  1. As a malaria victim myself from my Peace Corps days in 1970s Mali. I sympathize with the loss of a friend especially in this day when malaria drugs are usually available. Your friend may have been fearful of medical practices which have been delegitimized globally under the covid plandemic. It’s ironic as hydroxychloroquine may have helped him as it did for my nonvaxed parish group along with ivermectin although feeling like drug dealers getting it. I hope his work in Cote D’Ivoire was rewarding as the spirituality of Africa is the primary resource of people there. We see only a drop of the social, political, and cultural chaos as we persevere through our own banana republic times.

    • As a Peace Corps volunteer in Central African Republic (CAR), in the late 80’s, we took Chloroquine every week (Sunday pill) to prevent malaria. We treated the locals for malaria regularly with Chloroquine, very readily, very effectively. Such a shame. RIP.

  2. George was tweeting with no mention of ill ess as recently as three days ago. He posted a photo of himself five days ago where he looked fine, not like someone suffering with fever, shakes, nausea and vomiting, headache or any symptoms of malaria. Can you confirm that he ever had such a diagnosis?

    • I am relying on reports from those who know more about the details than I do. If evidence/testimony comes to light that is different from what I’ve reported, I will update and correct my piece.

  3. George was our editor at San Francisco Faith, a Catholic alternative paper in the 1990s. He joined a group hiking out of Tuolomne Meadows which included members of the Grimm family, Father Fessio, and me sometime in those years. Though his dad was a founding tutor at Thomas Aquinas College, George attended the Ignatius Institute in the shadow of USF. – Jim Holman

  4. Startling news. He was a courageous writer and investigative journalist, on the front lines. May he see all truth now, face to face with The Good Shepherd.

  5. I am a (retired) medical technologist who worked for almost 40 years in Microbiology, where we did Parasitology testing which included malaria (rarely seen in the U.S.).
    Malaria is one of the greatest killers in the world, and we still don’t have good ways to prevent it. Many of the 3rd World countries remain primitive and impoverished because of malaria, which makes it impossible for people to work. One of our friends went over to Guinea, West Africa, as a pastor/missionary (Protestant). While the rest of his family (wife, 3 children) didn’t contract malaria, he did. A strong young man who weighed around 180 pounds, he deteriorated to the point where he weighed slightly over 100 pounds, and his hematocrit dropped to 8% (normal for a man his age and size is around 41-50%). Thank God he rallied and survived, but it was many months before he was able to start his ministry. Malaria destroys the red blood cells, which carry oxygen. My heart breaks for George Neumayr, and I pray that he is welcomed into heaven.

    • I’m curious about the underlying causes of malaria if it’s so prevalent in 3rd world countries but non-existent in the USA and Europe.

      • A victim of Rachel Carson and Silent Spring and a total ban on responsible use of DDT in malaria zones. Added millions to annual death counts primarily in 3rd world regions, but brought back eagles whose eggshells thinned and cracked when DDT allowed in food chain. As a sinful, but practicing Catholic, I prioritize humans over birds especially when a more judicious approach was possible. The cult of climate change and the Narrative have taken over for now.

        • A long time ago before you could get off a plane disembarking from the tropics a flight attendant would first go up & down the aisle puffing DDT into the air to kill off any stowaway mosquitoes.
          I’m old enough to barely remember that & wonder what effect it might have had on flight crews who were repeatedly exposed to the pesticide?

      • Malaria used to be a serious issue in both the US & parts of Europe. Mosquito control took care of most of that, but cases still occasionally come up when mosquitoes spread the disease from someone already infected who had traveled abroad.
        Hopefully no one carrying malaria comes to our part of the States because mosquitoes are extremely plentiful here & little is done to control them. West Nile is spread that way as well as several other diseases.

  6. Is it not a distinct possibility that Neumayr died from something other than malaria? Why should we trust an American Consulate to do an autopsy on Neumayr?

  7. On December 23rd, Neumayer tweeted, “I suspect there will be some murders before this is over, maybe even my own. I am not joking. This is getting scary.”

    I don’t believe the malaria story for a second. He posted a photo of himself lounging by the pool on January 15th, was posting regular tweets on January 16th & 17th, and was dead of malaria on the 19th??! No way. These pedophilic Freemasons are very, very connected.

    • yep. Things don’t add up. And we already saw whoever wrote this article didn’t do basic research– like the decease’d accurate age. Basic basic journalism 101. So much missing here.

      • It was a short blog post passing on news that was, at that point, mostly from social media sources. I confirmed that Mr. Neumayr had indeed died; I passed on what was being stated by solid sources. But, yes, I got his age wrong. So I won’t get a Pulitzer. Shame.

  8. Very sad. He was a unique voice in Catholic journalism. I immediately think of his investigative reporting on the scandalous management of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, pieces that crackled with energy. And San Francisco Fatih, in its day, was courageous and outstanding.

  9. As Catholics we should see this happening as sad. Not sure Shocking is the correct headline. Whether our time is short or long, faith is paramount.

  10. Though some questions emerge regarding his death, he offered service to mankind, plus God’s truth. It would have been an honour to meet him.

    2 Corinthians 5:8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

    Philippians 1:23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

    2 Corinthians 5:1- For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. …

  11. Very sad. I enjoyed his essays and articles, and even followed him and communicated with him on Twitter (before I was banned).
    Deus requiem ad meam.

  12. Too many Catholics on social media have been suggesting that George was murdered. Yet his own family released a statement confirming he died after contracting malaria. Enough of the conspiracy talk. Pray for the repose of his soul. Thank you, Carl, for not spreading nonsense in CWR.

  13. George Neumayr also tweeted on December 23rd, 2022, “I am tangling with some dangerous forces here. Should something happen to me, close readers of my tweets will know why.”

    • I have a family member who died in a tropical country years ago. The cause of death was never officially determined & the telegram we received from the US consulate simply stated: “unknown causes.”
      Sometimes there’s more going on than meets the eye, sometimes not but it’s harder to determine that in some 3rd World settings.

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