Michael Herr, whose depictions of Vietnam redefined the genre of war reporting, died Thursday at a hospital near his home in upstate New York after what his publisher said was a long illness. He was 76.
When Herr left to cover the Vietnam War for Esquire, he didn't bring a great amount of journalistic experience. At 27, he'd been an amateur film critic, written some travel pieces and had worked on Syracuse University's literary magazine. But by the time his book Dispatches came out 10 years later, none of that mattered.