The newspaper confirmed that its Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter passed away on Thursday (February 16) while on assignment in Syria. He is believed to have had a fatal asthma attack.
Shadid's New York Times colleague Margalit Fox described him as "an intrepid reporter, a keen observer, an insightful analyst and a lyrical stylist".
She added: "Much of his work centered on ordinary people who had been forced to pay an extraordinary price for living in the region - or belonging to the religion, ethnic group or social class - that they did."
Born in Oklahoma City in September 1968, Shadid had worked as a staff writer for The Washington Post between 2003 and 2009, specialising in Islamic affairs.
He had worked for The AP and the Boston Globe during his career.
Martin Baron, Shadid's former editor at the Globe, praised his "effort to connect foreign coverage with real people on the ground".
Shadid was kidnapped in March last year in Libya while reporting on the uprising against the late Colonel Gaddafi. He was held by Gaddafi's forces for six days along with three other journalists.
He won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 and 2010, and was presented with the inaugural Michael Kelly award in 2004 in recognition of his reporting in Iraq.
The New York Times has revealed that it had put Shadid forward for this year's Pulitzer Prize, with the awards due to be announced in April.
He is survived by family members including his second wife, journalist Nada Bakri, and two children.