On May 5, 2010, Gawker received an unsolicited intern application letter from a woman who billed herself as “The (Potential) Intern From Heaven?” Her name was Leah Beckmann.
In her letter, Leah described herself as “an avid and enthusiastic reader of the Gawker,” and acknowledged that her equivalent of a cold call for an internship was a long shot. “Ironically, I am reaching out to you as one among the clawing masses attempting to secure a spot as an intern at the Gawker, one of your, or rather Siniegoski’s aptly labeled, ‘Satan’s Factory,’” she wrote, confusingly, “Live the dream, you cry? Well, here goes nothing.”
Today is Leah Beckmann’s last day as the editor of Gawker.com.
Who among us has lived the dream more than Leah Beckmann? No one. In five short years, she has gone from an aspiring intern to factual boss. Her career here at Gawker Media—a nonstop rocket to the top—is, in the final reckoning, the embodiment of her prescient words in that very first email: “I write to you as another one of the many, many desperate and intern-less poors, beseeching you to take pity and grant me a place alongside you and your cohorts at Gawker. I realize that in today’s world of volcanic eruptions, massive earthquakes, and racist happenings championed by Western Minutemen militia, the cry for help from a somewhat pampered recent graduate deserves a sonata on the world’s most microscopic finger-violin. But please sir, I beg of you. Alms for the poor!”
Alms for the poor, indeed—poor us. For we are losing Leah Beckmann, a sharp and hilarious writer, the fourth female editor in the history of Gawker, and one of the only genuinely likable people to work here in a long time. We will miss her very much.
Fly free, Leah B.