Charles Krauthammer, conservative commentator and Pulitzer Prize winner, dead at 68

Charles Krauthammer, a longtime Fox News contributor, Pulitzer Prize winner, Harvard-trained psychiatrist and best-selling author who came to be known as the dean of conservative commentators, died Thursday. He was 68. His death had been expected after he wrote a heartbreaking letter to colleagues, friends and viewers on June 8 that said in part “I have been uncharacteristically silent these past ten months. I had thought that silence would soon be coming to an end, but I’m afraid I must tell you now that fate has decided on a different course for me… “Recent tests have revealed that the cancer has returned. There was no sign of it as recently as a month ago, which means it is aggressive and spreading rapidly. My doctors tell me their best estimate is that I have only a few weeks left to live. This is the final verdict. My fight is over.” The letter continued, “I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life — full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living.” In recent years, Krauthammer was best known for his nightly appearance as a panelist on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier” and as a commentator on various Fox news shows. Following the news of the death of his “good friend,” Baier posted on Twitter, “I am sure you will be owning the panel discussion in heaven as well. And we’ll make sure your wise words and thoughts – your legacy – will live on here.” Brit Hume, senior political analyst on Fox News, also tweeted about the “terribly sad news.” “The great Charles Krauthammer has died,” he said. But Krauthammer was arguably a Renaissance man, achieving mastery in such disparate fields as psychiatry, speech-writing, print journalism and television. He won the Edwin Dunlop Prize for excellence in psychiatric research and clinical medicine. Journalism honors included the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his Washington Post columns in 1987 and the National Magazine Award for his work at The New Republic in 1984. His book, “Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics,” instantly became a New York Times bestseller, remaining in the number one slot for 10 weeks, and on the coveted list for nearly 40. Krauthammer delivered his views in a mild-mannered yet steady and almost philosophical style, befitting his background in psychiatry and detailed analysis of human behavior. Borrowing from that background, Krauthammer said in 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, that the post-Cold War world had gone from bipolar to “unipolar,” with the United States as the sole superpower. He also coined the term “The Reagan Doctrine,” among others. He also showed an unabashed love of baseball. Nationals Park held a moment of silence before his beloved Washington Nationals played a home game there Thursday night. Krauthammer harbored no compunction about calling out those in power, whether they were Democrats or Republicans or conservatives. During the Democratic National Convention, he assailed lack of substance in the build-up to nominating Hillary Clinton. “As for the chaos abroad, the Democrats are in see-no-evil denial. The first night in Philadelphia, there were 61 speeches. Not one mentioned the Islamic State or even terrorism.” “In this crazy election year, there are no straight-line projections,” he noted, adding presciently, “As Clinton leaves Philadelphia, her lifelong drive for the ultimate prize is perilously close to a coin flip.” At the same time, Krauthammer was quick to express disagreement with President Donald Trump in no uncertain terms.
Indeed…  We all knew this day was coming.   But, that doesn’t lessen the sorrow we all feel for the loss of Charles.  He was man who didn’t demean others with whom he disagreed.  Charles was a class act, and a national treasure.  He is missed terribly.  There will be a special tomorrow night on the Fox News channel about Charles.  Check your local listings..  And for more on this article, click on the text above.  Thanks for all your wisdom and counsel, Charles.  You’ve been a personal inspiration to me for decades, and a friend I never met.  R.I.P.

 

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