[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/27/william.safire/art.william.safire.gi.jpg caption="William Safire died in Maryland following a battle with pancreatic cancer, The New York Times reported."]
(CNN) - William Safire, a New York Times columnist and former speechwriter for President Richard Nixon, has died, a spokeswoman for the Times said Sunday. He was 79, according to the newspaper.
Safire joined the Times as a columnist in 1973. In addition to his conservative news columns, which he wrote until 2005, he wrote a language column for the paper's Sunday magazine from 1979 until shortly before his death.
He won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1978 for his columns on the travails surrounding Bert Lance, who resigned under fire as President Carter's budget director in 1977.
Updated: 4:03 p.m.
Safire will be fondly remembered for using his high intelligence to make vicious personal attacks on Clinton and other public servants with whom he disagreed. In some ways Safire will be considered the intellectual godfather of Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.
I disagreed with 99.99% of his political opinions, but he was a master craftsman. Your words will be missed Mr. Safire.
Safire, above all else, was a libertarian, and if we want to keep our country, we would do well to adhere to Libertarian principles ourselves. Republocrats are just two faces of the same, tired old politics. We need a new generation of people like Safire to keep us on the level.
I didn't agree with him on much of policy, but I respected his opinions - a thoughtful, intelligent observer. And a stickler on language....
"...agree with him much on policy..." is the phrase I meant.
Safire was a right wing journalist who tried to convince us that the Clintons did something illegal in the Whitewater "scandal".
But Safire was dead wrong – the results of the 6 year 73 million dollar Whitewater investigation/witchhunt resulted in no charges against the Clintons.
He was a journalist guided not by facts but by partisanship.
Hope God is more objective about him that he was about the Clintons.
A great journalist and a great American. He will be sorely missed.
I rarely agreed with Mr. Safire's conservative take on subjects, but I always enjoyed reading his columns. RIP.
this man wooed and prodded the puplic to continue the Vietnam War, there is blood on his hands.
I enjoyed his language column very much.
May God have mercy on your soul, sir. Rest in peace.
No loss. Another voice from the Stone Age that we won't have to listen to anymore.
thanks god, they are dying one by one.
GOOD!!!! Now if we can just get rid of Beck, Hanity and Coulter.