Joseph D. Hagmann – Joe or “Joey” to his friends and family – passed away unexpectedly at his home in Erie, PA on Saturday afternoon, June 29, 2019. From almost the beginning of The Hagmann Report in the spring of 2011, Joe Hagmann was an integral part of the popular daily Internet radio and TV program with his father, Douglas J. (Doug) Hagmann. They shared co-hosting and producing duties on the show until Joe separated from the Hagmann Report three months ago.
Joe is survived by his widow Laura, who is pregnant and will soon deliver the couple’s first child, his father Doug, his mother Deborah (Debra), his stepmother Renae, his sister Jacqueline and brother-in-law Eric, an extended family of relatives, and too many friends to count.
The story of Joe’s untimely death at age 36 may be more complex than was first reported by Doug Hagmann in a 13-minute long YouTube video announcement on July 1. In that video, which has now been viewed a total of over 200,000 times (between the edited announcement and the one-hour program that it was a part of), reported that Joe died of an accidental heroin overdose. However, Doug Hagmann, a licensed investigator for over three decades, has been assisting local police in trying to determine if other factors and/or individuals contributed to or were responsible for Joe’s death. The investigation is continuing.
In the meantime, the outpouring of people’s responses from all over the country and around the world to the news of Joe’s passing has been remarkable. Literally tens of thousands of people have been following the news of Joe’s death and thousands of them have weighed in – leaving messages in online comment sections, social media postings, and emails – with deeply felt expressions of grief and loss and in many cases offering prayers for Joe, his widow, his father, and the extended Hagmann family. The special connection between Joe and his huge audience of followers and fans was a result of Joe’s unique talents as a talk show host, news analyst, and interviewer and as an unapologetic Millennial Christian man searching to make sense of life in these increasingly challenging times, unafraid of citing his faith in God as his inspiration.
One of the tragedies of this story is that Joe was taken from us at such a young age, depriving us of what we all assumed would be his long life of continuing to minister to people using his considerable talents in the new media.
On Tuesday, July 2, 2019, I had the honor of guest-hosting the two-hour Hagmann Report, the first part of which I dedicated to my friend Joe Hagmann. (YouTube video podcast of the program is here.) I reviewed the high points of Joe’s career as a public figure in the new media and I had no difficulty placing him in the company – on the short list – of the most remarkable men and women in public life who I have reported on for over four decades as a journalist.
The best, short summary of Joe’s life both as a public figure and a human being that I could muster for the July 2nd broadcast that I dedicated to his memory was to paraphrase and adapt the words spoken by an Episcopalian minister about another man of God – my friend Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D. at the memorial service for Dr. Nick in New York City in 2016. When I re-read the original text of the minister’s comments last weekend in my article about the memorial service, I thought that with a few word changes it applied perfectly to Joe Hagmann, as well.
“Joe was a star. He didn’t just shine; he blazed. He blazed with the healing light of Christ. He brought that light, that healing, to his listeners and viewers and they responded.”
Funeral arrangements for Joe Hagmann will be announced soon.
Good bye and God Bless You, Joe. We miss you dearly, my friend and my brother in the everlasting search for Truth. You will never be forgotten.