A native of Oklahoma City, Shadid graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined the AP in Milwaukee in 1990, worked on the International Desk in New York and served as the AP's news editor in Los Angeles. He was transferred to Cairo in 1995, covering stories in several countries.
AP Senior Managing Editor John Daniszewski, who worked with Shadid in Baghdad during the U.S. invasion in 2003, called him "a brilliant colleague who stood out both for his elegant writing and for his deep and nuanced understanding of the region."
"He was calm under fire and quietly daring, the most admired of his generation of foreign correspondents," Daniszewski said.
Martin Baron, the editor of the Globe, for whom Shadid worked while at that newspaper, told the Times that Shadid had a "profound and sophisticated understanding" of the Middle East.
"More than anything, his effort to connect foreign coverage with real people on the ground, and to understand their lives, is what made his work so special," Baron said. "It wasn't a matter of diplomacy: it was a matter of people, and how their lives were so dramatically affected by world events."