May 27, 2022

Very Sad News: The Tragic Death of Microsoft’s Lee Dirks

Earlier today I received an email note from my friend Jill O’Neill at NFAIS with some very sad news that Lee Dirks, one of the people helping to make Microsoft Academic Search an excellent resource and also a friend was killed along with his with Judy and their driver in a car accident in Peru.

This post has a link to more info as well as thoughts from a friend.

As you know I am a big admirer of Microsoft Academic and a large part of that was because of Lee.

Some of you might have known Lee as a proud alumnus of the SILS program at the University of North Carolina.

That last time I spoke with Lee was about 3 months ago when I had dinner with him here in DC. Sure, we spoke about MS Academic but we also spoke about a more important topic.

Our dinner was taking place only two weeks after my son was born. Not only was he interested in what I had to share about being a very new father but he also offered some advice and plenty of enthusiasm about how wonderful and important it was to be a great dad and parent. Lee and his wife were the parents of two daughters.

Are thoughts and prayers are with them and his entire family.

To know Lee, even for a brief period of time, was to love Lee.

I miss him already.

Update: NISO’s Todd Carpenter also shares some thoughts about Lee in this post.

Update 2: Peter Brantley from the Internet Archive and Publisher’s Weekly remembers Lee in this PWxyx post.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.