Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) board member Andy Harvey walked on May 23, 2012.
He was only 35 years old. He had been a reporter for 12 News Phoenix for nearly 10 years and more recently served as the senior public information officer for the Department of Diné Education.
“Andy Harvey was a wonderful asset to the Native American Journalists Association,” said NAJA President Rhonda LeValdo Gayton in a statement. “He gave back to this group serving on the board and as a student mentor. So many people spoke highly of his kind nature, it is one that will be missed by all of us”
Former colleagues at 12 News posted a story titled “Remembering Andy Harvey,” in it they talked about how important Harvey’s Navajo culture was to him and how important his accomplishments were to him and his family.
“He did talk occasionally about what his accomplishments meant to his family,” 12 News reporter Veronica Sanchez recalled, “and, in that culture, how you don’t see a lot of Andy Harvey’s on television.”
The 12 News video can be seen here and has video clips from Harvey’s days as a television news reporter.
Harvey didn’t always want to be a reporter—according to his 12 News biography he had a very different plan for himself.
“I had dreams of becoming a nurse like my mom, but decided to go into broadcast journalism,” he wrote in his biography. “I did, however, work as a certified nurse assistant for two years while in college. I had a great opportunity to hike up Mount Rushmore while working as a reporter in South Dakota. Not too many people can say they stood on a president’s head.”
Harvey’s most recent position was with the Navajo Nation and President Ben Shelly offered his condolences.
“The Navajo Nation is saddened by the loss of such talent at a young age. He worked as a television reporter and told the stories of many people. Andy inspired many people, not only his own Navajo people, but many people throughout the country,” Shelly said in a statement.
Harvey grew up on the Navajo reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico and earned his master’s in rhetoric and composition and bachelor’s in broadcast journalism at Northern Arizona University.