Reporter Michael Hastings dies at 33

Michael Hastings discusses his exclusive interview with Julian Assange on "CBS This Morning" January 9, 2012.
CBS News

Award-winning journalist Michael Hastings, who wrote the Rolling Stone profile that led to Gen. Stanley McChrystal's resignation, died in a car accident early Tuesday in Los Angeles, according to his employers at Buzzfeed and Rolling Stone. He was 33.

"We are shocked and devastated by the news that Michael Hastings is gone," Buzzfeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith wrote. "Michael was a great, fearless journalist with an incredible instinct for the story, and a gift for finding ways to make his readers care about anything he covered from wars to politicians. He wrote stories that would otherwise have gone unwritten, and without him there are great stories that will go untold."

Hastings is perhaps best known for "Runaway General," the 2010 Rolling Stone blockbuster story on Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who commanded the U.S. forces in Afghanistan until President Obama urged him to resign in the days after the report.

Hastings has also authored several books, including: The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan, which stemmed from his story on McChrystal; I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story, written after his then-fiance, an aide worker, was killed in a car bombing while he was covering the Iraq war for Newsweek; and a book on the election for Buzzfeed, Panic 2012.

His colleagues at Rolling Stone remembered him as a fearless reporter who refused to "cozy up to power."

Matt Farwell, who recently worked with Hastings, said the journalist was not only great at his job, but was a great friend.

"Looking back on the past ten years is tough for anyone, but looking back on Michael's past ten years and you begin to understand how passionate and dedicated to this work he was, a passion that was only equaled by his dedication to his family and friends, and how much more he lived in thirty-three years than most people live in a lifetime," Farwall wrote.

Hastings is survived by his wife, Elise.