Aug 18, 2009

Influential columnist Robert Novak dies at age 78

Conservative columnist and former CNN "Crossfire" co-host Robert Novak (pictured) has died after a year-long battle with cancer, his family announced Tuesday. He was 78.

Mr. Novak died at home, just over a year after doctors diagnosed him with a malignant brain tumor in August 2008. He was a veteran columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and a regular commentator for CNN for 25 years, beginning when the network launched in 1980.

Novak also hosted a show with his longtime column co-author, Rowland Evans, and appeared as a panelist on shows like "The Capital Gang" and on PBS' "The McLaughlin Group."

The Sun-Times reported:

His political columns were marked by his determination to dig out new information, behind-the-scenes anecdotes and Washington secrets to tell us something we didn’t know.

He combined that with sharp analysis, insightful commentary and passion about the issues facing the nation to emerge as a brawling contestant in the great national debates of his era.