Sam de Brito, Australian author & columnist, died at 46

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Sam de Brito, born on February 2, 1969 and died October 12, 2015, Sam was a Sydney-born author and writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age who wrote the blog All Men Are Liars.

Sam was a member of an accomplished Australian media family.

His grandfather, William Blake was a reporter for The Truth in Melbourne and Adelaide, and his mother, Julie co-founded what became the company Media Monitors in the late 1970s with broadcaster Ian Parry-Okeden.

His maternal uncles Peter Blake, Terry Blake and Patrick Blake are, or were, journalists, as are his cousins Sarah Blake (daughter of Terry) and Emma Blake (daughter of Patrick).

Sam’s father is the late South African-born journalist Gus de Brito, who had emigrated to Australia in the early 1960s.

In South Africa, the elder Sam had written about the emerging black civil rights movement; and in 1972, as a reporter for Sydney tabloid The Daily Mirror, he wrote a major feature article about Aboriginal rights activist Gary Foley.

Later, Foley recalled the article “overnight had created instant notoriety … for me”, but that he had developed “an unlikely friendship” with the journalist who wrote it.

His sister is journalist Kate de Brito, who in October 2015 left News Corp, where she had been online news editor, Head of Digital and author of the long-running agony aunt column “Ask Bossy”, to edit Mia Freedman’s women’s interest website, Mamamia.

In 1975, having divorced Sam ‘s father, his mother married broadcaster Sean Flannery, to whom she remained married until Flannery’s death from cancer in 2011. Gus de Brito died in 1999.

Sam attended Waverley College where, he wrote in 2013, he was bullied, and later became a bully himself.

“When I was in Years 5 and 6, I copped it savagely for reasons I still don’t entirely understand but suspect were linked to me being somewhat bookish, articulate and effeminate,” Sam wrote.

“The pattern continued in Years 7 and 8 at my new high school but seemed to settle on my ethnicity – being a wog, ‘f—ing off back to my own country’, etc.”

Sam had written extensively about his daughter, who was born around 2010, and the collapse of his relationship with her mother.

“My daughter is the most important thing in my life now,” he said in 2011.

“Everything runs second to her, which is quite a change of pace for a pathological narcissist.”

And in 2014, he wrote, “I had spent my life waiting for someone I could love unconditionally, who I would always be there for. I’d thought it would be a partner or a lover, but in fact it was my child.”

On Monday, 12 October 2015 Sam de Brito was discovered dead in his eastern suburbs home, he died at age 46.

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