Theodore's World: Tragic news ....Tony Snow Passes Away

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July 12, 2008

Tragic news ....Tony Snow Passes Away

Tony Snow, Former White House Press Secretary and FOX News Anchor, Dies at 53

Fox News

Tony Snow, the former White House press secretary and conservative pundit who bedeviled the press corps and charmed millions as a FOX News television and radio host, died Saturday after a long bout with cancer. He was 53.

A syndicated columnist, editor, TV anchor, radio show host and musician, Snow worked in nearly every medium in a career that spanned more than 30 years.

"Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend Tony Snow," President Bush said in a written statement. "The Snow family has lost a beloved husband and father. And America has lost a devoted public servant and a man of character."

Snow died at 2 a.m. Saturday at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Snow joined FOX in 1996 as the original anchor of "FOX News Sunday" and hosted "Weekend Live" and a radio program, "The Tony Snow Show," before departing in 2006.

"It's a tremendous loss for us who knew him, but it's also a loss for the country," Roger Ailes, chairman of FOX News, said Saturday morning about Snow, calling him a "renaissance man."

As a TV pundit and commentator for FOX News, Snow often was critical of Bush before he became the president's third press secretary, following Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan. He was an instant study in the job, mastering the position — and the White House press corps — with apparent ease.

"One of the reasons I took this job is not only to work with the president, but, believe it or not, to work with all of you," Snow told reporters when he stepped into the post in 2006. "These are times that are going to be very challenging."

During a tenure marked by friendly jousting with journalists, Snow often danced around the press corps, occasionally correcting their grammar and speech even as he responded to their questions.

"Tony did his job with more flair than almost any press secretary before him," said William McGurn, Bush's former chief speechwriter. "He loved the give-and-take. But that was possible only because Tony was a man of substance who had real beliefs and principles that he was more than able to defend."
As he announced Snow as his new press secretary in May 2006, Bush praised him as "a man of courage [and] a man of integrity."

Snow presided over some of the toughest fights of Bush's presidency, defending the administration during the Iraq war and the CIA leak investigation

"I felt comfortable enough to interrupt him when he was BSing, and he kind of knew it, and he'd shut up and move on," Snow said.

His tenure at the White House lasted 17 months and was interrupted by his second bout with cancer.

Snow had his colon removed and underwent six months of chemotherapy after he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005. In 2007 he announced his cancer had recurred and spread to his liver, and he had a malignant growth removed from his abdominal area.

He resigned from the White House six months later, in September 2007, citing not his health but a need to earn more than the $168,000 a year he was paid in the government post. He was replaced by his deputy, Dana Perino, Bush's current press secretary.

After taking time off to recuperate, Snow joined CNN as a political commentator early this year.

At the White House, Snow brought partisan zeal and the skills of a seasoned performer to the task of explaining and defending the president's policies. During daily briefings he challenged reporters, scolded them and questioned their motives as if he were starring in a TV show broadcast live from the West Wing.

"The White House has lost a great friend and a great colleague," said Perino in a statement released to the media. "We all loved watching him at the podium, but most of all we learned how to love our families and treat each other."

Critics suggested Snow was turning the traditionally informational daily briefing into a personality-driven media event short on facts and long on confrontation. He was the first press secretary, by his own accounting, to travel the country raising money for Republican candidates.

As a commentator, he had not always been on the president's side. He once called Bush "something of an embarrassment" in conservative circles and criticized what he called Bush's "lackluster" domestic policy.

A sometime fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh, Snow said he loved the intimacy of his radio audience.

"I don't think you ever arrive," he said. "I think anybody who thinks they've arrived or made it, anywhere in the media — they're nuts."

Robert Anthony Snow was born June 1, 1955, in Berea, Ky., the son of a teacher and nurse. He graduated from Davidson College in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy, and he taught briefly in Kenya before embarking on his journalism career.

Because of his love for writing, Snow took a job as an editorial writer for the Greensboro Record in North Carolina and went on to run the editorial pages at the Newport News (Virginia) Daily Press, Detroit News and Washington Times. He became a nationally syndicated columnist, and in 1991 he became director of speechwriting for President George H.W. Bush.

"He served people, and we can learn from that. He was kind, and we can learn from that. He was just a good person," the senior Bush told FOX News.


Tony Snow on flute

Tony Snow, White House Press Secretary, plays "Stormy Monday" with Leslie West of Mountain at the Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp.

Snow played six instruments — saxophone, trombone, flute, piccolo, accordion and guitar — and was in a D.C. cover band called Beats Workin'. He also was a film buff.

"He was a great musician," Ailes said. "And he loved movies."

More than anything, said Snow's colleagues, he was a joy to work with.

"He was a lot of fun," his former FOX News producer Griff Jenkins said. "This is a loss of a family member."

FOX News Chief Washington Correspondent Jim Angle called Snow a "gentleman."

Snow is survived by his wife, Jill Ellen Walker, whom he married in 1987; their son, Robbie; and daughters, Kendall and Kristi.

Tony left us all so much.I came across an article Tony wrote about his cancer.

"The moment you enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, things change. You discover that Christianity is not something doughy, passive, pious, and soft. Faith may be the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But it also draws you into a world shorn of fearful caution. The life of belief teems with thrills, boldness, danger, shocks, reversals, triumphs, and epiphanies. Think of Paul, traipsing though the known world and contemplating trips to what must have seemed the antipodes (Spain), shaking the dust from his sandals, worrying not about the morrow, but only about the moment.

There’s nothing wilder than a life of humble virtue—for it is through selflessness and service that God wrings from our bodies and spirits the most we ever could give, the most we ever could offer, and the most we ever could do.

Finally, we can let love change everything. When Jesus was faced with the prospect of crucifixion, he grieved not for himself, but for us. He cried for Jerusalem before entering the holy city. From the Cross, he took on the cumulative burden of human sin and weakness, and begged for forgiveness on our behalf.

We get repeated chances to learn that life is not about us—that we acquire purpose and satisfaction by sharing in God’s love for others. Sickness gets us partway there. It reminds us of our limitations and dependence. But it also gives us a chance to serve the healthy. A minister friend of mine observes that people suffering grave afflictions often acquire the faith of two people, while loved ones accept the burden of two people’s worries and fears.
Learning How to Live."

-—end quote-—

Wild Thing's comment........

Rest in peace Tony Snow. Tony was a blessing to his family, friend, and country.

Thank you to all of you that sent me the news and links about Tony passing away.

Posted by Wild Thing at July 12, 2008 11:55 AM


Tony was one of a kind and he embodied one word-INTEGRITY!!!!!
He was true to his word and his bond was good. You could trust him.
He did what all reporters should do--their job.
I am so deeply saddened by his passing. We've lost one of the best, but we will see him again, in time, when we all meet in glory.
He was and still remains a shining star for all up and coming journalists to look to when deciding how to live their career.
God Bless his wife Jill and their children. What a blessing Tony was to them and to America.
Thank you Tony, for all the years of laughter and intelligent reporting.

Posted by: Lynn at July 12, 2008 12:45 PM

Truly a sad day for America and his profession. For there few as good as Tony Snow was. I have listened to him for so long he is like an old friend, and will be missed.

God bless him and especially now his family.

Posted by: Mark at July 12, 2008 01:22 PM

Class, honesty, cheerfulness, talent. I always enjoyed listning to him when he filled in for Rush.

I also enjoyed his verbal jousting wih that horrible White House press corps. Tony was so far superior to all of them in every positive way.

I have to echo Lynn's commenting. She praised Tony Snow better than I can.

Posted by: TomR at July 12, 2008 06:08 PM

Sometimes saying a little says a lot. Tony Snow was truly one of the good guys and a pleasure to watch and listen to. I will miss him and his wit. He made a positive contribution to everyone he came in contact with and we are all better off for the time that we had with him.

Posted by: Les at July 12, 2008 07:50 PM

You all said such wonderful things about Tony. Thank you, he was one of my favorites to listen to on the radio. He was a special man.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 12, 2008 11:44 PM

A wee bit "O" The Irish for the Lad!!!

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there... I do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow...
I am the diamond glints on snow...
I am the sunlight on ripened grain...
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you waken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of gentle birds in circling flight...
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry—
I am not there... I did not die...

Posted by: Tincan Sailor at July 12, 2008 11:48 PM

Tincan Sailor, that was wonderful!!

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 13, 2008 12:01 AM

"Welcome to Heaven Mr. Snow. You won't be in pain up here my son. You've fought the GOOD fight!"
- St. Peter, July 12, 2008

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at July 13, 2008 04:08 AM

Darth, that was beautiful.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 13, 2008 05:33 AM