NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Journalist Wayne Barrett died Thursday at the age of 71.

Barrett’s tenacious coverage of New York City politicians and personalities — including a 1992 biography of President-elect Donald Trump — earned him a reputation as a tough but fair investigative reporter.

Barrett, who had been battling interstitial lung disease, died at NYU Langone Medical Center, his family told The Associated Press.

Barrett began covering the budding real-estate developer Trump when he started writing for the Village Voice in the late 1970s. In 1992, he published “Trump: The Deals and the Downfalls,” reissued last year during Trump’s presidential run.

Barrett also wrote books on New York City mayors Edward I. Koch and Rudolph Giuliani and mentored many younger journalists.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement on Barrett’s passing, calling it “a tremendous loss for the people of the great state of New York.”

“Wayne was a lion in the field of journalism,” Cuomo said in the statement. “For decades, Wayne was the conscience of New York. He had a profound impact on policy and government because of his dogged determination to hold those in power accountable.”

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said of Barrett: “If heaven has a flaw, we are going to find out soon. Because Wayne will have a long, detailed and impactful story up on it in a week. He will be greatly missed.”

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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