More sad news in the motorcycle-journalism world today, as we learn that Cycle News Contributing Editor Henny Ray Abrams was found dead at his computer in his Brooklyn apartment, passing from apparent natural causes.
At 57 years of age, Abrams was the longest-serving journalist at Cycle News, and though he worked in virtually every paddock at one time or another, we here at Asphalt & Rubber knew him best for his time in AMA and MotoGP paddocks.
Known in the trade for telling it how it is, Abrams was always the American journalist that could get racers to open-up beyond the canned media responses, putting together some of the industry’s best feature stories — Henny was more-than-handy at swinging a lens as a photographer as well.
A loyal stalwart to the trade, I remember catching Henny at the 2011 EICMA trade show, as we both scrambled to find somewhere to eat lunch in what was a busy day coming straight from the Valencian GP. Midway through what was to be our quick reprieve from the trade show floors, an enthusiast recognized Henny mid-bite, and rushed over to recount what easily was multiple decades worth of features, stories, photos, and other material.
While Henny graciously took the time to listen and add insight to each memory, during the whole exchange I couldn’t help but wonder just how many journalists, in any trade, could be recognized in public and approached by fans with the same level of stardom as the celebrities they devotedly covered with their words.
It goes without saying then that Henny’s absence will be felt not just in the media center, but throughout the entire industry. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends though, who will miss him most of all.