Beloved NPR Books Editor Dies Suddenly at 46

Petra Mayer died of suspected pulmonary embolism
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 15, 2021 2:59 AM CST
Beloved NPR Books Editor Dies Suddenly at 46
This undated photo provided by National Public Radio in November 2021 shows Petra Mayer, NPR Books Editor.   (Allison Shelley/NPR via AP)

Petra Mayer, books editor for National Public Radio, died Saturday of what’s believed to be a pulmonary embolism, the news organization said. She was 46. Mayer is remembered for her reporting at Comic-Con and helping put together NPR’s Book Concierge, an annual interactive guide that filters titles based on interest to recommend to readers. She was an occasional guest on “Pop Culture Happy Hour” podcast episodes, and colleagues describe her as "the spirit of the place" and "up for anything" in a moving NPR obituary. NPR’s senior vice president for news, Nancy Barnes, said in an email to staff that she died suddenly at Holy Cross Hospital in Maryland, the AP reports.

“Petra was NPR through and through,” Barnes wrote. Mayer joined the NPR Books team in 2012 after working as an associate producer and director for All Things Considered on the weekends, handling the show’s books coverage. Her biography on NPR's website said she first joined as an engineering assistant in 1994 while attending Amherst College, but left a few years later for a news writing job at Boston's WBUR and for a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. She returned to NPR in 2000. "Mayer was a proud nerd with a penchant for science fiction, comics and cats," NPR's obituary says. "She shared those passions with readers and listeners through her reviews of sci-fi, fantasy, romance, thrillers and comics," and much more.

(More NPR stories.)

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