He died at a hospital in Washington, his wife Sabra Chartrand confirmed to the AP today. The cause of death was acute undiagnosed leukemia which led to respiratory failure from pneumonia, Chartrand said.
Brinkley, who began his career at the AP in Charlotte, N.C., in 1975, won the Pulitzer Prize while a reporter at The Louisville Courier-Journal. He and photographer Jay Mather shared the prize for stories about the fall of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime.
He was also a Pulitzer finalist in 1982 in local investigative specialized reporting.
Brinkley left Stanford late last year to become a tactical adviser to John F. Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.
Brinkley's father, TV news anchor David Brinkley, died in 2003. A brother, Alan Brinkley, is a noted American History professor at Columbia University.
According to the Times, Brinkley was aware of his father’s long shadow and the questions it might raise in the minds of people first meeting another journalist of the same surname.
“I am not related to Christie,” he would volunteer.