Lauren Brown, a founding editor of digital media publication Quartz and a former staffer at Business Insider, died of cancer on Tuesday. She was 37.
Brown worked at Business Insider from 2011 to 2012 as a contributors editor before joining Quartz as one of the site's founding editors. At Quartz, she was the first deputy editor of Ideas, Quartz's contributor section. Most recently, she was director of special projects, working with Quartz's editorial, design and marketing teams on big journalistic projects like a hardcover book about the global economy and a podcast about technology's impact on humanity.
Prior to Business Insider, Brown worked at WorldNow, Movmnt Magazine, and John Wiley & Sons.
Brown received her master's degree from Columbia's School of Journalism in 2011. She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University, where she majored in English and history.
"Lauren was a passionate, entrepreneurial journalist — a force in the newsroom," said Nicholas Carlson, global editor in chief of Insider. "She was also a kind person, ready to help Business Insider and her former colleagues even after she left the company. We are so sad for her family and friends."
In a memo sent to staff on Tuesday, Quartz CEO and cofounder Zach Seward said Brown would be most remembered for her mentorship in the newsroom.
"She was passionate about championing the voices of women and people of color, and made it a focus of her work at Quartz over more than seven years," Seward wrote. "Within the company, she also served as a mentor and advocate for so many of her women colleagues. That fight for underrepresented voices will be her strongest legacy at Quartz."
Over the years, Brown also recounted her own experience with breast cancer in stories that broke the fourth wall for Quartz, Seward added. In 2015, for example, she wrote about ducking into a supply closet at work to take a call from her doctor about her diagnosis.
Kevin Delaney, the founding editor of Quartz who is stepping down this month to move into an advisor role, said that Brown was the most requested staffer in Quartz's mentorship program.
"Many new people at Quartz found Lauren intimidating when they first met her," he wrote in a Quartz article about Brown. "She was focused and intense, and would freely let them know of her high standards. Then, not long after, she would invite them to lunch, or send them a message complimenting their work, or offer her help — and they realized she was on their side the whole time."
S. Mitra Kalita, SVP of news, opinion and programming at CNN, hired Brown and published a Medium post on Tuesday that detailed Brown's personality in and out of the office.
"Lauren approached everything with empathy: Editing, commissioning, conversations at work, or in her personal life," Kalita said. "But that hardly made her a pushover. She was super demanding and instituted processes that enabled creativity. I don't know if we celebrate those enablers enough."