Tennessean Announces Death Of Columnist Gail Kerr

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Photo: Video by NewsChannel5.com

Tennessean Announces Death Of Columnist Gail Kerr

CREATED Mar 25, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville newspaper columnist Gail Kerr has died. She was 52-years-old. The Tennessean made the announcement Tuesday.

Kerr had been a columnist for the Tennessean since 2000, but worked for the paper off and on since 1978 when she worked as a copy girl in high school.

Former Tennessean Chairman John Siegenthaler says he spotted Kerr's potential almost immediately.

"From the time she walked in the door as an intern, I don't think there was any doubt that 'it' was just there," Siegenthaler said.

Over the years, Kerr worked as a beat reporter, team leader and city editor, according to the paper. 

Kerr took on topics from state and local politics, to domestic violence and the condition of Tennessee's school systems.

In her last column on March 19, Kerr wrote about the vote in the Tennessee House of Representatives to delay the Common Core school curriculum in the state.

"It was a shortsighted, boneheaded move," she wrote.  

The Tennessean reported Kerr was scheduled to receive a blood transfusion Tuesday. She was battling her third round of cancer. They said Kerr's cause of death appeared to be a blood clot.

They said Kerr was still working Monday.

Longtime friend and former NewsChannel 5 reporter Pat Nolan got to know Kerr while she was a beat reporter for the Tennessean.  He says after hundreds of columns, people came to trust Kerr to reflect what the community was feeling.

"I think over the years she became Nashville's voice and its conscience," Nolan said.  "I think we've kind of lost that today."