Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley Jr. Is Dead at 82

William F. Buckley in 2004
photo by Frank Franklin II; Associated Press

“All great biblical stories begin with Genesis,” George Will wrote in the National Review in 1980. “And before there was Ronald Reagan, there was Barry Goldwater, and before there was Barry Goldwater there was National Review, and before there was National Review there was Bill Buckley with a spark in his mind, and the spark in 1980 has become a conflagration.
The New York Times

William F. Buckley died in his home today according to members of his family.

He popularized conservatism as a philosophical idea and founded the "National Review" to give a voice to a newly energized conservative movement. Agree with him or not it was impossible not to admire Buckley's intellect.

More From the New York Times:

William F. Buckley Jr., who marshaled polysyllabic exuberance, famously arched eyebrows and a refined, perspicacious mind to elevate conservatism to the center of American political discourse, died Wednesday at his home in Stamford, Conn.

Mr. Buckley’s winningly capricious personality, replete with ten-dollar words and a darting tongue writers loved to compare with an anteater’s, hosted one of television’s longest-running programs, “Firing Line,” and founded and shepherded the influential conservative magazine, “National Review.”

He also found time to write at least 55 books, ranging from sailing odysseys to spy novels to celebrations of his own dashing daily life, and to edit five more. His political novel “The Rake” was published last August, and a book looking back at the National Review’s history in November; a personal memoir of Barry Goldwater is due to be publication in April, and Mr. Buckley was working on a similar book about Ronald Reagan for release in the fall.

The more than 4.5 million words of his 5,600 biweekly newspaper columns, “On the Right,” would fill 45 more medium-sized books.

The complete article, video clip, and more photos are available at:

William F. Buckley Jr. Is Dead at 82 - New York Times
Thanks to Max at the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas

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