Piotr Domaradzki, journalist, Died at 69

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Piotr Krystian Domaradzki was born on June 21, 1946, and died on November 4, 2015.

He was a Polish American journalist, essayist and historian who, during a longtime association with Chicago’s Polish community, worked for 30 years at Dziennik Związkowy (Alliance Daily), the oldest and largest Polish language newspaper in the United States.

From October 2009 to March 2013, he served as the paper’s editor-in-chief.

Piotr emigrated from Poland in 1984 and became a U.S. citizen in 1996.

Born in Strzelce Opolskie, a town and county seat in south-western Poland, Piotr Domaradzki received his high school diploma from II Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. dra Władysława Pniewskiego in Gdańsk.

Piotr graduated from University of Gdańsk with a major in late antiquity military history.

At the time martial law was declared in December 1981, Domaradzki was 35 years old and deeply involved as an activist and organizer in Solidarity, with responsibility for frontline members, publications and press releases. Although martial law was lifted in July 1983, there was little immediate improvement in the country’s political situation and in January 1984 he left the Polish People’s Republic for France.

Ten months later he emigrated with his wife and daughter to the U.S., where, in November 1985, he was granted political asylum.

Almost immediately upon arriving in Chicago, Domaradzki began working for Dziennik Związkowy.

Before becoming editor-in-chief in 2009, he served as the newspaper’s assistant editor from 1985 to 1987 and from 1998 to 2009.

In 1996, along with another Chicago-based Polish exile, literary and film critic and academic Wojciech Wierzewski (1941–2008), Piotr founded the discussion forum, Konwersatorium “Dialog 96” which, under the aegis of the Chicago chapter of the Polish Instutute of Arts and Sciences in America (PIASA), focused primarily on activities within the cultural and intellectual communities in Poland and abroad.

On October 20, 2015, fire erupted in Domaradzki’s home on Grace Street in the Portage Park community of Chicago.

He was unconscious when rescued by firefighters and taken to the Community First Medical Center and subsequently to a special unit of Loyola University Hospital where he died on November 4, without regaining consciousness, from the aftereffects of smoke inhalation.

Piotr was 69. In addition to daughter Krystiana, he and his wife were the parents of another daughter, Sara, born in the U.S. in 1991.

Piotr passed away at age 69 in November 2015.

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