Brazilian Deputy David Miranda of the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL) poses during an interview with AFP at his office of the National Congress in Brasilia, on November 5, 2019.
David Miranda, a Brazilian politician, has died following a nine month battle in intensive care, according to a tweet on Tuesday from his husband, journalist Glenn Greenwald. He was 37 years old.
“It is with the most profound sadness that I announce the passing away of my husband @DavidMirandaRio. He would have turned 38 tomorrow. His death, early this morning, came after a 9-month battle in ICU. He died in full peace, surrounded by our children and family and friends,” tweeted Greenwald, who raised two adopted sons with Miranda.
Miranda was elected as one of the first openly gay city councilors in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and went on to serve in Brazil’s congress from 2019. Miranda withdrew his candidacy for reelection in September 2022 after six weeks in the ICU suffering from a gastrointestinal infection, according to CNN affiliate CNN Brasil.
His death led to an outpouring of tributes online. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called Miranda “a young man with an extraordinary trajectory who left too soon,” on Twitter.
“David was singular: the strongest, most passionate, most compassionate man I’ve known,” Greenwald tweeted.
“He inspired so many with his biography, passion, and force of life,” he wrote.
Miranda’s mother died when he was five years old, according to Greenwald, “leaving him an orphan” in Rio’s poor neighborhood of Jacarezinho.
Greenwald has been at the forefront of high-profile reports for exposing secrets in US intelligence programs. With the cooperation of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Greenwald broke the story of the existence of a US National Security Agency program that is thought to have collected large amounts of phone and Internet data.
David Miranda of the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL) speaks during an interview with AFP at his office of the National Congress in Brasilia, on November 5, 2019.
David Miranda of the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL) speaks during an interview with AFP at his office of the National Congress in Brasilia, on November 5, 2019. Sergio Lima/AFP/Getty Images
In 2013, Miranda was detained and interrogated at London’s Heathrow Airport for nine hours by British security forces under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 as he was flying back to Rio from Berlin.
While in Berlin, Miranda stayed with filmmaker Laura Poitras, who has worked “extensively” with Greenwald on his stories about the National Security Agency, the reporter wrote at the time.
The Guardian newspaper revealed that it paid for Miranda’s flights to Germany. “Miranda is not a Guardian employee but often assists Greenwald in his work,” the newspaper said at the time. The UK authorities confiscated Miranda’s laptop and thumb drives.
According to a profile from TIME magazine, Miranda met Greenwald in 2005 “when he was playing volleyball on Ipanema beach and accidentally knocked over an American tourist’s drink. That tourist was attorney Glenn Greenwald, better known today for his journalism.”
The pair “fell in love and moved in together after just five days.”
“But by far David’s biggest dream, what gave him the greatest pride and purpose, was being a father. He was the most dedicated and loving parent,” Greenwald wrote on Twitter alongside images of their family.
“He taught me how to be a father. And our truly exceptional boys – with their own difficult start to live – is his greatest legacy,” he added.