All of us at The Heritage Foundation are deeply saddened by the loss of Tony Snow. The former White House press secretary, radio talk-show host, “Fox News Sunday” anchor and current CNN contributor was always full of energy and optimism, even as he battled cancer. Snow died early this morning at the age of 53. The Associated Press reports on the mark he left on Washington:
Snow’s death came as a surprise to many people at Heritage who had recently seem him. Rebecca Hagelin, vice president of communications and marketing, shared these thoughts:
Tony was among the most fierce and gracious of warriors in the battle of ideas. He confronted what was wrong with a vengeance, but did so with style and respect for the opposition as human beings. Tony showed us how to live life to its fullest and to fight hard for what we believe in — even in the face of the worst odds. His death is a terrible, difficult loss given that his life and spirit still held so much promise, and so much hope for the way things could be. He was a fighter to the end, and his life and death are a sober reminder that all of our days are numbered — and, like Tony, we should cherish and use each one as if it were our last.
Reactions began pouring in immediately after the news broke. House Minority Leader John Boehner, who represents Snow’s native Cincinnati, said:
Churchill said, ‘I like a man who grins when he fights’ and that was Tony Snow. For 35 years, as a writer, broadcaster, and spokesman, he fought fiercely for what he believed in, and he did it with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. His loss is a loss for our country.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), a former radio talk-show host himself, added:
Tony Snow’s passing is a national loss. His intellect, his decency and his professionalism set a high standard for conservatives in public service and journalism. America will miss his voice and I will miss a friend.
And President Bush — for whom Snow worked from May 16, 2006, to Sept. 12, 2007 — recalled the brilliant role he played as press secretary:
It was a joy to watch Tony at the podium each day. He brought wit, grace, and a great love of country to his work. His colleagues will cherish memories of his energetic personality and relentless good humor.
UPDATE — 12:59 p.m.: Heritage President Ed Feulner has offered a few thoughts about the impact Snow had on our country. Here’s a quote from his statement:
Not many of us could excel with Tony Snow’s grace and humility as an editorial writer and columnist, opinion editor and commentator, presidential speechwriter, and TV and radio talk-show host — much less as a deft, loyal White House press secretary and pretty good rock musician.