Eric Lundquist, former editor in chief of eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week who covered the IT industry for more than 35 years, died Sept. 6 from the effects of a heart attack suffered on Aug. 30.
Lundquist, a former competitive long-distance runner and sports enthusiast, was bicycling near his home in Andover, Mass., when he suffered a massive heart attack. He remained in a coma until he was removed from life support and died on Sept. 5 at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Lundquist was named editor in chief of Ziff Davis Publishing Co.'s PC Week in 1992, one of the top national trade newspapers covering the IT industry. From 1992 until December 2008, Lundquist guided PC Week through many transitions, including a complete rebranding of the publication in 2000 under the name eWEEK as the industry evolved from a world of desktop PCs and shrink-wrapped software packages to the World Wide Web and cloud computing.
Lundquist was also a long-time writer and editor of Spencer F. Katt, the well-wired news tipster and cat about town that was a favorite of PC Week and eWEEK readers.
From June 2009 until November 2011, Lundquist was vice president of strategic content and later senior vice president, editorial, with eWEEK's parent company Ziff Davis Enterprise.
From November 2011 until early 2012, Lundquist was vice president and editorial analyst with United Business Media, where he developed content, products and audiences for the InformationWeek Business Technology Network.
At the time of his death, Lundquist was a technology analyst for Ziff Brothers Investments, seeking out new IT products and companies. But he kept his hand in IT journalism by contributing regular news analysis columns and blogs for eWEEK. His final column was published on eWEEK Aug. 28.
Lundquist's career began in technology journalism at Electronic News in 1979, which was owned by Fairchild Publications, as he worked his way up the editorial management ladder. Lundquist also worked as a news reporter at the Dedham Transcript before moving into technology journalism.
John Dodge, a former PC Week news editor and current IT community manager with IDG, said he first met Lundquist in 1976 when they were graduate students at the Boston University College of Communications Journalism Department.
"I knew he would be a lifelong friend, although I thought we had different temperaments. There was a little bit of bit yin and yang in our friendship. He was a calm, steady guy," said Dodge, who described himself as more the frenetic street journalist "turning in multiple directions" in those early days.
Dodge takes credit for recommending Lundquist as a candidate to become eWEEK editor in chief in 1992, feeling that his news reporting and editing experience would be a perfect fit for eWEEK.
Lundquist's quietly confident personality is what made him a success as an editor in chief, said Dodge.
"He was who he appeared to be. He was humble, and he cherished his working-class roots. He knew who he was, and that allowed him to hobnob with the high and mighty in the technology industry," Dodge said. At the same time he was able to keep things in perspective "as a person and a journalist," he said. "He never took things all that seriously," Dodge said, who posted his own tribute to Lundquist Sept. 8.