David Larimer might not be a name that many sports fans are familiar with but the longtime Washington Post editor had a big hand in shaping the newspaper’s coverage of college sports and breaking news in sports over the last 25 years. Larimer died on May 15 at the age of 47 from an apparent heart attack.
Sports was not Larimer’s only topic of focus in his time at the paper. While he started out in 1996 preparing box scores and racing results, he soon worked his way up to copy editor for the foreign and sports desks. He would spend most of his Post career on the sports desk, serving as night editor and college sports editor and also producing content of his own. Most recently, Larimer was editing The Post’s daily coronavirus newsletter while also overseeing breaking news in sports.
According to his Washington Post obituary written by Harrison Smith, Larimer was “admired for catching errors, identifying holes in stories, and developing a close rapport with his reporters, often bonding over shared interests in music or food.”
Larimer met his wife, Terri Rupar, at the Post as well. She is a former politics editor for the newspaper. They have a 7-year-old daughter.
“One of the things that made him stand out in the room was he was such a nice person,” sports copy chief Tony Reid told Smith. “We had a lot of cranky people like me around, but we didn’t have a lot of nice people like Dave. . . . Happy people don’t often make good copy editors. Dave was the exception to that.”
Given the amount of time he worked at the Post and the relationships he’d built with many reporters there, it was no surprise to see tributes roll in for Larimer immediately. Many of these tributes include a link to a fundraiser to benefit his daughter, Matilda. Per the fundraiser, The Washington Post will match all donations made by Washington Post employees.
We are devastated by the passing of our @washingtonpost colleague David Larimer and we grieve with his wonderful wife, @terri_rupar, and their beloved daughter Matilda. Please consider contributing to Matilda's education fund, if you are able: https://t.co/kUE69BaMkH
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) May 16, 2021
Devastating and shocking news about a former colleague, David Larimer. I will always treasure and appreciate the time I got to spend working with him. https://t.co/K1sdHzJA2Y
— Kelyn Soong (@KelynSoong) May 16, 2021
Every time I went into the newsroom at the @washingtonpost and Larimer was there, he'd always be smiling and ready to catch up about whatever was happening with me, the Wizards and the league. He was a genuinely good person, and man, is this tough news.https://t.co/X1iFWUEV1z
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) May 17, 2021
It's been difficult trying to process the loss of Washington Post sports colleague David Larimer at just 47, especially after communicating with him just last week. But this beautiful @harrisondsmith obituary summed him up perfectly. Rest in peace, David. https://t.co/3FoQHj8dXu
— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) May 17, 2021