26-year-old Brown graduate, Forbes 30 Under 30 member, dies after completing marathon in Arizona
Pierre Lipton was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for cofounding newsletter company 1440 Media.
On Feb. 4, as 26-year-old Pierre Lipton approached the finish line of the Mesa Marathon in Arizona, an official race photographer snapped his photo. He wore matching yellow running clothes and sunglasses. The hint of a smile crept onto his face. Neither of his feet were touching the ground.
Lipton, who graduated from Brown University, was about to complete the marathon in 3 hours, 10 minutes, and 5 seconds. It was his personal best for the distance. He had maintained a pace of 7 minutes and 15 seconds per mile through mild weather.
Lipton collapsed after crossing the finish line. He was brought to a hospital, and later pronounced dead.
“He accomplished more than anyone I know in just 26 years, but he still had so many plans,” Lipton’s girlfriend, Eleanor Pereboom, wrote in an Instagram post with the photo. “Here he is just a couple feet from the finish line. He’s still smiling. Both feet lifted off the ground, he’s still flying. He was doing what he loved.”
Now, Lipton is being remembered as a brilliant, caring, adventurous young man who co-founded a news company and was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for media in 2022.
Born in Charlotte, N.C., Lipton was a happy child who was eager to learn, travel, build Lego sets, and play soccer. The son of two doctors, Lipton is also survived by a younger sister, Adelina, according to his obituary.
After graduating as valedictorian from Myers Park High School, Lipton went on to study Economics and Middle Eastern Studies at Brown. In his Junior year, he met Tim Huelskamp, a venture capitalist, and Andrew Steigerwald, a scientist. The trio formed 1440 Media, a Chicago-based company that sends daily news roundups to subscribers via email.
“Every morning, we’d wake up to the same broken media landscape,” the founders explained on their website. “But one day, instead of repeating the cycle, we started working on a solution: a comprehensive news source edited to be [as] unbiased as humanly possible.”
It was a hit. The company now claims to inform 2.3 million people from across the political spectrum each day. The company expected to see more than $7 million in revenue in 2022 and had $2.5 million in funding from investors, according to the 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30 write-up.
“We are pretty sure he was going to win a Nobel Prize,” his father, Dr. Jordan Lipton, told The Boston Globe. “Pierre believed in truth, always. He lived his life that way — honest, truthful, and kind.”
Lipton loved to travel the world, venturing to places such as England, Sweden, China, and Thailand, according to this obituary. As a high school student, he volunteered at an orphanage in Panama, teaching English and math. In addition to English, he spoke Spanish and Arabic. He was learning Italian in anticipation of a planned trip to the country in May.
Lipton strove to make a difference in the world, his family wrote. While at Brown, he started another company called VitaLives that focused on “reducing malnutrition and vitamin deficiency.” He was passionate about topics like food security, animal welfare, and the environment.
Lipton’s friends and family are establishing a philanthropic foundation to support charitable organizations that work to address the issues he cared about. Donations are currently being accepted through a GoFundMe page. At the time of publication, just over $64,000 had been donated.
Lipton was also a dedicated athlete. He aspired to run all the major marathons, according to the Globe, and hoped to play soccer or run for the nation of Tonga, where his mother was born.
Lipton’s family called Pereboom “the love of his life” in his obituary. The couple ran together, entrenched in the running community of Providence. They participated in the local ‘Gansett Run Club. Pereboom ran the Mesa Marathon with Lipton. The day before the race, the running club posted a photo of the couple to Instagram, wishing them luck.
Feb. 4 was a good day for running, with temperatures peaking at 75 degrees in the area. Before the race started, Lipton kissed Pereboom goodbye, she told the Globe. Pereboom finished the marathon less than 15 minutes after Lipton, but could not find him. She sent a text, but got no reply. She called, but Lipton did not pick up. Then, she looked at a location-tracking app on her phone to see where he was. It showed Lipton at a nearby hospital.
So Pereboom found race officials and learned that Lipton collapsed right near a few paramedics. They tried administering CPR before transporting him to a hospital, according to Globe.
“The working diagnosis is he might have had some sudden electrolyte imbalance that caused arrhythmia,” Lipton’s father, who specializes in emergency medicine, told the Globe.
In the last few hours of his life, Lipton was doing something that brought him joy, alongside the person he loved.
“He was doing what he loved,” Lipton’s family wrote in his obituary. “He will be so terribly missed by us all.”