Andrew Breitbart dead at 43
By TIM MAK | 3/1/12 9:25 AM EST
Crusading conservative journalist and activist Andrew Breitbart died suddenly early Thursday morning in Los Angeles at the age of 43.
“Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning,” Big Journalism author Larry Solov wrote on Big Journalism, one of Breitbart’s websites. “We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior.”
There were reports that Breitbart had collapsed while walking near his home. Fox host Sean Hannity said Friday morning that Breitbart had heart problems about a year ago.
Presidential candidate Rick Santorum responded Breitbart’s death on the campaign trail in Dalton, Ga.
“That’s shocking, obviously prayers go out to him and his family,” said Santorum, who called Breitbart a “powerful force.”
“You think of anybody out there … who’s constantly driving and pushing. What a huge loss, in my opinion for our country, and certainly for the conservative movement,” Santorum added. “I’m crestfallen.”
Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson called Breitbart “a compelling person with a great capacity for friendship. I hope that doesn’t get lost…He was a great guy.” Appearing on Fox, Carlson described him as the perfect person to be sitting next to at a dinner party.
Breitbart got his start in journalism when he reached out to Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report and worked with Drudge on the site. Drudge later introduced him to Arianna Huffington and Breitbart then played a role in launching The Huffington Post.
The writer and commentator most recently ran several websites, including Breitbart.com, Breitbart.tv and what became known as the ‘Bigs’: Big Government, Big Journalism, Big Peace and Big Hollywood.
Breitbart was a stalwart for aggressively promoting conservative causes, and recently led the charge in a campaign to have then-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) resign over naked pictures the congressman sent over Twitter to a half dozen women.
In one especially memorable moment, Breitbart hijacked a press conference organized by Weiner last summer to apologize for his indiscretions. “I’m here to watch myself be vindicated,” he said, from the podium. Weiner resigned not long after.
Conservative pundit Jonah Goldberg said Thursday on Fox that Breitbart was “the most fearless guy I ever knew. He truly loved the fight.”
Big Government editor-in-chief Joel Pollak said that Breitbart had been taken by ambulance to the UCLA medical center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.
“He continues to inspire us, and we’ll be moving forward [on his projects]… as he would have wanted,” said Pollak. “We’re devastated by his loss.”
An autopsy is pending. Breitbart last tweeted at 11:25 pm Pacific Time, which is evidently shortly before he was taken to the hospital.
He leaves behind four children and a wife.
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