Journalist, husband and dear friend Vu Nguyen collapsed on a soccer field in Santa Monica, California, on May 10, 2009. He died less than a week later, leaving behind a wife of six months and scores of family, friends and loved ones.
Vu was a dedicated reporter and a brilliant person, but his path to success was not without its detours. After high school, Vu worked odd jobs and dropped out of college. But his love of reporting and the written word brought him to the Yakima Herald-Republic, Seattle Times, Orange County Register, and lastly, the Daily Breeze.
In honor of his family and Vietnamese heritage, Vu traditionally wrote his newspaper byline as "Nguyen Huy Vu."
While chasing a story was a strong motivation for Vu, he wanted to push further. He decided to finish his education and graduated from California State University-Fullerton in 2007. Immediately after, he moved to the decidedly colder Midwest to get his master's degree from the University of Illinois Springfield Public Affairs Reporting program.
As part of his graduate program, Vu worked as a reporting intern for The Associated Press at the Illinois Capitol. He had an opportunity to cover the soon-to-be impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich and write enterprising stories that were published in reputable newspapers throughout the country. He also served as a mentor for his younger classmates and had dreams of teaching journalism to a group of his own students.
To read a touching Orange County Register obituary feature written after Vu's death, click here. This story details more about Vu's life, and also includes links to stories he wrote about his gastric bypass surgery — an amazing series during his tenure at the newspaper.