William Safire has died of pancreatic cancer.
I always loved his column "On Language." He was a prolific writer and published four novels as well as several non-fiction works and thousands of columns. Nobody knew language better than Safire, or could make it more fun. I will miss reading him!
This description of Safire is exactly as I imagined him: "He was hardly the image of a buttoned-down Times man: The shoes needed a shine, the gray hair a trim. Back in the days of suits, his jacket was rumpled, the shirt collar open, the tie askew. He was tall but bent — a man walking into the wind. He slouched and banged a keyboard, talked as fast as any newyawka and looked a bit gloomy, like a man with a toothache coming on."
Here is a look at his accomplishments, and here is his last column for the NYTimes from January 2005.
(Photo credit: The New York Times)