Award-winning journalist and producer Teshima Walker Izreal died Friday morning after a two-year struggle with colon cancer. Walker is best known as the producer of Michel Martin’s popular news roundup show Tell Me More.
Walker, a longtime NPR staffer, climbed the ranks of the news organization. In 2000 she joined the outlet as a journalism fellow for the program All Things Considered, and later became a producer for The Tavis Smiley Show and News and Notes. She joined Tell Me More in 2007 as a senior supervising producer and became the show’s executive producer in 2011.
“Today, we share incredibly sad news. Our Executive Producer Teshima Walker Izrael passed away after a two-year battle with cancer. We will miss everything about her but everyone should know that her spirit lives in every minute of each broadcast as she will always remain in our hearts and souls.”
In a chat with NPR, Martin remembered her friend as thoughtful and full of life:
“Teshima made us all want to dig a little deeper, think harder, and be better. She was everything you could want in a manager and friend: kind and open-hearted when you needed her to be, and tough, but fair, when you needed her to be. While I already miss her amazing laugh and her incredible off-key rendition of the “Happy Birthday” song, I know I am better for having heard them both. We are all very grateful for the time we had with her, and thank her husband, parents and sister for sharing these precious last days with us.”
Walker, a native of Chicago, was a graduate of Tennessee State University and a lifetime member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She leaves behind her husband, writer Jimi Izreal, her parents, William and Vonceal Walker and her sister, Eureva Walker. She was just 44.