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Fred Hiatt, Washington Post Editorial Page Editor, Dies at 66

“He was generous not only to his staff, but also to me,” she said in an email. “From our conversation I was expecting wise counsel and serious mentorship, which did come, but not before he spent a half-hour trying to make me laugh with tales of ornery writers.”

Frederick Samuel Hiatt was born on April 30, 1955, in Washington. At the time, his father, Howard Haym Hiatt, was a medical researcher at the National Institutes of Health. When the elder Mr. Hiatt became dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, the family moved to Brookline, Mass., where Fred grew up. His mother, Doris (Bieringer) Hiatt, went to library school and co-founded a magazine that reviewed books for school libraries.

Mr. Hiatt went to Harvard, majoring in history and working for the campus newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, where he met Ms. Shapiro. They graduated in 1977 and traveled around the world together for a year and a half. He started his newspaper career at The Atlanta Journal, then moved to The Washington Star.

When The Star folded in 1981, Mr. Hiatt joined The Post, where Ms. Shapiro was already working as a reporter. His first assignment was covering suburban Fairfax County, Va.; he then took on Virginia politics and the Pentagon. He and Ms. Shapiro were married in 1984.

In addition to her, he is survived by his father; his three children, Alexandra, Joseph and Nathaniel Hiatt; his brother, Jonathan; his sister, Deborah Hiatt; and a granddaughter.

Mr. Hiatt and Ms. Shapiro were both sent to Tokyo in 1987 as co-bureau chiefs; it was the first time The Post sent a couple to share a job in a foreign posting. “We shared a desk,” Ms. Shapiro said in an interview. “He sat on one side, and I sat on the other. He would read my copy, and I would read his. It was seamless.”

It worked out so well that the newspaper moved them to a similar job-sharing beat in Moscow, where they covered the fall of the Soviet Union.

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