September 18th, 2009
03:18 PM ET
11 years ago

Irving Kristol, conservative thinker, dies at 89

(CNN) - Irving Kristol, among the most influential conservative commentators over the last half century, died Friday in Washington at age 89, the Weekly Standard announced on its Web site.

Kristol, whom Esquire Magazine once hailed as the godfather of neo-conservatism, served as editor of several conservative publications over the last five decades including Commentary magazine and The National Interest.

In 2002, President Bush awarded Kristol the Medal of Freedom, calling him a "brilliant writer of remarkable insight and wit, [who] profoundly improved public discourse on the ideas he championed."

His son, William Kristol, is the current editor of The Weekly Standard.


Filed under: Irving Kristol
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. j

    AH !!! How neo-cons love one another. Anyone to the left of them is a Socialist. After all there is no room left to their right.

    September 18, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Scott B

    and so goes the very last conservative thinker on earth

    September 18, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. trying to be reasonable in WV

    Full disclosure first: I am a centrist. I think we need THOUGHTFUL conservatives in our national discourse. Perhaps Irving Kristol was one–I'll admit to not knowing his work.

    Sad to say, IMHO son William Kristol doesn't achieve the stature of a thoughtful conservative. He is the quintessential doctrinaire neocon, reflexively opposing even the most moderate centrist proposals while steadfastly refusing to concede that Bush and the neocons made even the slightest mistakes. Where are the thoughtful conservatives now?

    September 18, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Arizonian

    Isn't conservative thinker an oxymoron? Just saying

    September 18, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. Angie in PA

    And his son Voted for and Supported President Obama.

    September 18, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. N

    Talk about hate, Look at yourself posters. Carma, thats all I can say for you haters. A man dies, and all you can do is post your hate. I wish the best to his family in these hard times. Just like I did for the Kenedy family. There is a time and place for everything.

    September 18, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Mario, mtl, ca.

    I don't care, but now he will have to deal with his sin

    September 18, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    " A man dies, and all you can do is post your hate. "

    Need I reference the Ted Kennedy articles?

    September 18, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. Drew

    To Arizonian...I was wondering the exact same thing! Conservative Thinker is a rather mutually exclusive term.

    September 18, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. JonDie

    Couldn't have been much of a thinker; it doesn't take much thinking when one's entire philosophy is built across the premises that 1) the past were the "good, old days" and we need to return to them and B) it's actually possible to return in time to those "good, old days" (that NEVER existed).

    September 18, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. Eleanore

    You might want to correct your headline. Irving died. Not his son William.

    September 18, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Lori in St Pete

    N, it's spelled Karma, with a K. And what did you honestly expect after the two-week hatefest following Senator Kennedy's passing?

    September 18, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. Nick Anders

    While I am politically ideologically as far away from the Krystal fellows as possible, I wish him a blissful rest in peace. Politics aside, let's let him rest in peace.

    September 18, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. bayou

    Angle in PA, I think it was William F. Buckley's son who supported Obama

    September 18, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Alverant

    N, at least the bad things said about Kristol is justified. I never considered Kristol to be "thoughtful", just ignorant.

    September 18, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Randolph Carter, head of the death panel

    Come on, folks. You might not agree with the guy's philosophy but try to show a little class. Have a nice day!

    September 18, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. No Incumbents 2010

    William Kristol is a Nepotism boy riding daddy's coattales.

    September 18, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Polar Bears Against Palin

    I'll say what many conservatives said after Ted Kennedy died:

    WHO CARES?

    September 18, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. Nevada dude

    The man's dead. leave it alone
    (I am a democrat, but jeez people, you have to draw the line somewhere. its not as if he was Hitler or anything)

    September 18, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. KATHLEEN

    Esquire magazine named him "the godfather of neo-conservatism".....

    Well, if that is so, the man was a wealthy idiot. Neo Conservatism is what got us in the mess we are in. Thanks to Reagan our Country
    is fast becoming a nation of the rich and poor!!!!!

    Should health care not pass with the public option, our middle
    class will go deeper in debt. This could deeply affect the very
    MIDDLE CLASS PEOPLE who are against health care reform!!!!!!

    Yeah, vote for two wars and not think twice, but fight tooth and nail
    to helping us get better Health Care

    Retired, who "thought" we were Upper Middle Class!!!!!! Watch
    out people against Health Care Reform, It "could" happen to you
    our your loved ones, somewhere down the line. Medical Care take all
    you have worked for in passing your wealth to your "possibly uninsured" rich children or grandchildren. IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU!!!!

    September 18, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. Obama VICTIM

    Looking at these post just reinforce what indespicable idiots the left are! You idiots must be an embarassment to your feerless leader, Lord Obama.

    September 18, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. JWB

    Angie in PA you are confusing the Weekly Standard with the National Review and William Kristol with Christopher Buckley.

    September 18, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. Mike in MN

    You know what is so sad about the left is that I knew I could go here and find their hate posted all over the place. A conservative died and they see it as an opportunity to flash their hate for their fellow Americans. What a pitiful bunch.

    September 18, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Reagan was wrong

    Bury TEA Party "movement" with Kristol

    Not a nice thing to say, huh?

    September 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    I've studied Irving Kristol's writing closely, and his passing is truly a poverty of intellectualism. God rest his soul and may his contributions be preserved for the generations.

    September 18, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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