News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Weds. Aug.20, 2014: A Missouri man who adopted the Caribbean as his home and served as a journalist and contributor to the former Hardbeatnews for many years, has passed away at the age of 80 in Puerto Rico.
John Collins, according to the Sun Sentinel, died on Aug. 11th following complications from hip replacement surgery at the Veterans Affairs hospital in San Juan. He had spent the latter years of his life in a nursing home in Puerto Rico.
Collins began in Caribbean journalism as a correspondent for United Press International from 1978 to 1983. He then worked with Caribbean Business weekly in Puerto Rico, first on staff and later as a contributor.
His work as a journalist earned him four Overseas Press Club awards in Puerto Rico.
“Puerto Rico will never realize how much we owe to John Collins,” Antonio Colorado, the island’s former secretary of state and its former representative to U.S. Congress told the Sentinel. “Our relations with the Caribbean and everything we were able to accomplish in the 80s and early 90s was due in a very important part to what John did.”
Collins earned four Overseas Press Club awards in Puerto Rico. He travelled across the region covering several conferences and advised the Dominican Republic administrations of Presidents Joaquin Balaguer and Leonel Fernandez.
Felicia Persaud, founder of Hardbeatnews, now News Americas Now, expressed sadness at the passing of Collins, noting he was definitely a man who had a depth of knowledge of the Caribbean. “John’s wit and charm will surely be missed,” said Persaud. “It is indeed sad to hear that he spent his latter days so alone.”