Monday, September 28, 2009

william safire, author, pulitzer prize columnist, and expert on language, dies at 79 :(

william safire died of pancreatic cancer yesterday, september 27, 2009. he was 79 year old. i was a huge fan of the multi-talented bill safire. his "on language" column was an absolute staple of my weekend reading for decades! a man of many cerebral hats - author, columnist, political commentator, and even speech writer - i was surprised to learn he was college drop out (well, even jack kerouac had no use for a diploma - so he was in good company)!

safire's "the first dissident: the book of job in today's politics" is on my very short list of all-time favorite books (no small feat, imho). he had an eclectic career, to put in mildly. starting out as a speech writer for richard nixon, he eventually became a political columnist for the ny times. in between he found time to write novels (political fiction), books (on language and politics), and serve time as a t.v. pundit (lending the voice of moderation to the shrill monkeys of either side of the political spectrum).

he was a gentleman in all respects.

rest in peace, william safire.

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