Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Art Buchwald has died.
Times Union Editor at Large Harry Rosenfeld, who worked with Buchwald at both the International Herald Tribune and the Washington Post (where he got to know him better) told me this morning that Buchwald “was both funny and insightful, and he knew how to pull things together.” He marveled at how his colleague could have been successful for so many years, and called him one of those rare individuals who pulled himself up in the world. Rosenfeld credited that to his ability to be funny which, Rosenfeld said, isn’t easy to do three times a week. Rosenfeld described a man who became so successful that he made himself a prominent figure in Washington, where he would be invited to speak at major events and have the audience comfortably laughing long enough for him to then make a serious and insightful point. Buchwald had lived a good life, and he fought his illnesses to the end.
Here’s a bit from the obit from the Washington Post:
Art Buchwald, 81, the newspaper humor columnist for more than a half-century who found new comic material in the issues that come up at the end of life, died of kidney failure last night at his son’s home in Washington, his family announced today.
Buchwald, an owlish, cigar-chomping extrovert, zinged the high, mighty and humor-challenged. His column, syndicated to more than 550 newspapers at one point, won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1982. He also published more than 30 books.
The NYTimes has a video obit here (registration may be required).