Foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid's death was the realization of years of concern for his brother Damon Shadid, a Seattle attorney.

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Last June, Anthony Shadid was the best man at the wedding of his brother, Seattle attorney Damon Shadid, in Pioneer Square.

He gave toasts, noting how all of humanity experienced joy and community — whether it was the triumph of freedom in Egypt or the celebration of a wedding. Anthony Shadid, 43, a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, died this week of an apparent asthma attack while on assignment in Syria.

His death followed years of worry about Shadid’s well-being while reporting from some of the most troubled parts of the world.

Whenever relatives called several times and he was unable to answer the phone, Damon Shadid, the youngest of the three Shadid siblings, always feared the worst. Thursday was one of those occasions. Shadid was at a law conference when the calls began coming in.

“I’ve always taken the position he should live his life the way he wants to lead it and I should not lecture him about the risks. He got plenty of that from our parents. But if I got more than one phone call from our family … I was just praying he got captured again.”

While covering the conflict in Libya last year, a pro-government militia captured and physically abused Anthony Shadid and two other journalists and held them for a week. It wasn’t the first time he was at risk.

In 2002, he was working for the The Boston Globe when he was shot in the shoulder as he walked on the street in the West Bank.

“He was one of the best war correspondents of our generation,” Damon Shadid said. “Any time anyone would talk to him he’d listen, never preaching, never forcing his views on anyone else.

“Anthony was just an absolute crusader for making sure the story of the everyday man was told. He would approach large events from the eye of people on the street. That was what he was known for, that’s what he won his two Pulitzer Prizes for.”

Damon Shadid said his brother was “so committed to journalism” that he willingly “put his life on the line over and over again. … He never regretted it at all.”

The Shadid children grew up in Oklahoma City with an extended family of cousins, an aunt and uncle and many adventures — fort-building and snowball fights and finding “secret passages” through the neighborhood — which Anthony would lead because he was the oldest, his brother said.

Their father was a dentist, their mother a hygienist. The children went to prep school and college.

Anthony Shadid had rebuilt his ancestral home in Lebanon — a project which is the subject of “House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family and a Lost Middle East,” to be released this spring.

He and his second wife, Bakri, and their son, Malik, 3, divided their time between Lebanon and Cambridge, Mass., where his daughter, Laila, by his first marriage, lives.

Anthony Shadid will be buried at the family home in Lebanon.

Material from The New York Times was included.

Nancy Bartley: 206-464-8522 or nbartley@seattletimes.com.