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Michael Heaton Death- The Plain Dealer’s Minister Of Culture Dies At 66!! What Really Happened?

The Plain Dealer readers’ Michael Heaton, better known as “Minister of Culture” died at 66, from his home on Sunday. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s report suggested the death of Heaton, who shone in the field of off beta pop culture columns during his time.

Michael Heaton

Michael Heaton was initially the longtime fixture at The Plain Dealer, but his “Minister of Culture” column resonated the most. In his 3 decades of career, Heaton wrote nearly 1,500 Minister columns- a mixture of flippant, humorous, and serious homages.

Over the years, Michael Heaton prepared a collection of three dozen pieces, which was later in 2007 published by Gray & Co. of Cleveland.

On Monday, publisher David Gray shared a couple of words about his acquaintance with the deceased where he said things that implied his fondness for Heaton’s writings.

Garry on Monday said that he was one among the others who were familiar with the works of Heaton including the hard news and feature writing for which he was popular.

Michael Heaton then recalled his return to Cleveland in 1990 and the duo’s relationship which budded later. According to Gray, he was bowled over by Heaton’s 9/11 coverage which had him scratching his head a lot as to why Heaton lost the opportunity to write anymore. 

There was some good writing in Heaton’s collection, but that doesn’t mean he failed to impress as the Minister of Culture, but his reports were usually backed with some seriousness, for which he was not appraised to the level that he deserved. 

Michael Heaton, The Plain Dealer’s ‘Minister Of Culture

After the September 2001 terrorist attack, Heaton was the foremost reporter, who stepped down to the ground about which Hetapon himself has talked countless times at multiple events. 

Michael Heaton way of portraying things was enough for anyone not present in New York or who eye-witnessed the incident to understand the actual scene of people voluntarily helping out one another, volunteers feeding the rescue team, and other individuals offloading tons and tons of dog food to the K9 units, and many more emotional outbreaks. 

In 2012, Heaton confronted his interests in an exclusive interview where he said “ I write about things that amuse me or strike me as funny, and almost everything does”. Furthermore, he added, “ Laughs were important to our family as we had a fun family indeed, and in fact, humor has really helped us to overcome our mother’s death.” 

In 2018, Heaton revealed his nickname, when he said that the name was borrowed from Michael Snyder, a San Francisco FM DJ, who was at the time working for the San Francisco Examiner, sharing reviews for Kung-fu and monster movies. The revelation was detailed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s farewell column. The name “Heaton” was well accepted by his readers, especially in the Cleveland journalism circle. 

He wrote,

“ I don’t remember who came up with the idea of this column, but the ultimate goal was to write about entertainment, entertainingly. I was always fond of examining what our preferences and choices talked about us as a culture”.

The brother of the popular actress Patricia Heaton and the son of the iconic Cleveland Plain Dealer writer Chuck Heaton, Michael Heaton, jump-started his career as a rock music composer at the same publication in the 80s and continued his work until 2019, after which he appeared on 3News programming, without taking a break.

Right after the demise of Heaton, a flurry of tweets was made by his friends and family, pouring their love and condolences. 

About Heaton, Henry J. Gomez stated that he was such a generous colleague and a funny man without whom the world seems worse. 

Ideastream Public Media’s Michael Mclntyre referred to Heaton as, a Seeker of happiness, a Reliable wingman, a Proud father, a Court jester,  a Wag, and ultimately the Minister of Culture. 

J.D. Kunes on the other side penned about the heartbreaking and shocking news of Michael Heaton’s death, who used to write columns for the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Friday Magazine over the years. He further added his condolences to his friends, family, and his words. 

Kevinpmiller, the producer of Heaton’s film, “Kids in Crisis” also appeared on the social media platform, sharing an emotional picture of the duo from the award-winning short film. 

Last but not least, Melodie Smith, Heaton’s former colleague wrote,

“RIP to Michael Heaton, who died too soon. He was popular over the years as the columnist for the Minister of Culture, to the Plain Dealer readers, who is also the brother of Patricia Heaton. My condolences to everyone who had only love for him.”

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