Tony Judt, British Historian, Dies at 62

By Helena Zhu
Helena Zhu
Helena Zhu
August 7, 2010 Updated: August 7, 2010

Tony Judt, one of the great political writers of the modern era, died on Friday at 62 of complications from Lou Gehrig's disease at his home in Manhattan, announced New York University.

The British-born European history professor emeritus at NYU was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2006 for Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, his almost 900-page history of modern Europe.

He was diagnosed in 2008 with Lou Gehrig’s disease, which attacks nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord and weakens one’s ability to move and speak.

During his two years of fighting against the disease, he documented his experience with incomparable detail in public lectures and essays.

"In contrast to almost every other serious or deadly disease, one is thus left free to contemplate at leisure and in minimal discomfort the catastrophic progress of one's own deterioration," Judt wrote in an essay titled Night.

Helena Zhu