William F. Buckley, R.I.P.
A truly great man died last night...
NEW YORK -. died at work, in his study. The had ended long before. A Republican was in the White House. The word "liberal" had been shunned like an ill-mannered guest.
At the end of his 82 years, much of it spent stoking and riding a right-wing wave as an erudite commentator and conservative herald, all of Buckley's dreams seemingly had come true.
"He founded a magazine, wrote over 50 books, influenced the course of political history, had a son, had two grandchildren and sailed across thethree times," said his son, novelist . "He really didn't leave any stone unturned."
Buckley was found dead in his study Wednesday morning in. His son noted Buckley had died "with his boots on, after a lifetime of riding pretty tall in the saddle."
I first started reading Buckley's columns when I was in high school...then started reading National Review. Later I found Firing Line on PBS and just loved to watch him jab with his opponents, but in that sort of sly, smiling fashion, with just a hint ot sarcasm..slightly leaning back, slouched in his chair. Classic and confident.
The Editors at National Review put it this way:
Our revered founder, William F. Buckley Jr., died in his study this morning.
If ever an institution were the lengthened shadow of one man, this publication is his. So we hope it will not be thought immodest for us to say that Buckley has had more of an impact on the political life of this country - and a better one - than some of our presidents. He created modern conservatism as an intellectual and then a political movement. He kept it from drifting into the fever swamps. And he gave it a wit, style, and intelligence that earned the respect and friendship even of his adversaries. (To know Buckley was to be reminded that certain people have a talent for friendship.)
He inspired and incited three generations of conservatives, and counting. He retained his intellectual and literary vitality to the end; even in his final years he was capable of the arresting formulation, the unpredictable insight. He presided over NR even in his "retirement," which was more active than most people's careers. It has been said that great men are rarely good men. Even more rarely are they sweet and merry, as Buckley was.
He'll be sorely missed.