PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Erika Niedowski, a former journalist for The Associated Press and a Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Baltimore Sun, died Friday after a brief and sudden illness. She was 46.
Niedowski’s longtime partner, Patrick Laverty, said she died after being hospitalized with flu-like symptoms that were not COVID-19-related.
Born Oct. 4, 1973, Niedowski grew up in Marshfield, Massachusetts, and held degrees from Georgetown and Tufts, where she earned a master’s in public policy. She was an avid cyclist and ice hockey player whose “favorite season was hoodie season,” Laverty said.
At AP, Niedowski was an acting correspondent and reporter in Providence from 2011-2014, anchoring coverage of the Rhode Island Statehouse. She also reported extensively on the homicide investigation of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and the controversy around former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s failed 38 Studios video game venture.
“Erika reported the news the way she skated in the hockey rink: hard-charging and relentless,” said William J. Kole, AP’s New England editor. “She left an indelible impact not just on journalism but on the lives of everyone she touched.”
Nellie Gorbea, Rhode Island’s secretary of state, tweeted her appreciation Friday for Niedowski’s “comprehensive and insightful” coverage.
Prior to joining AP, Niedowski was web editor for The Hill and a foreign correspondent in Moscow for The Baltimore Sun, where she was a 2004 finalist for a Pulitzer in explanatory reporting on medical mistakes. She also worked at Congressional Quarterly, Washington City Paper and The National in the United Arab Emirates, among other publications.
At the time of her death, she was Northeast director for Solar Access, a coalition promoting the use of solar energy as a clean fuel alternative.
A celebration of her life will take place at a future date, Laverty said.
This story has been corrected to show Niedowski worked at AP starting in 2011, not 2001, and covered the homicide investigation of Aaron Hernandez, not his trial.