My wife called this morning to relay the terrible news that Andrew Breitbart has died at age 43. Andrew’s death is a catastrophe for his young family, and a grave loss for the conservative movement. Andrew was one of perhaps three or four conservatives who could truly be described as irreplaceable.
Andrew will be remembered for his astonishing energy and his utter fearlessness. His creative approach to media and to activism in general made him a unique contributor to the conservative movement. Andrew was also very funny. I will never forget how, at CPAC last year, my then-fourteen year old daughter nearly fell off her chair with laughter as Andrew mimed how, on rollerblades, he took over a group of protesting leftists and diverted them to an Applebee’s restaurant.
Andrew was a nice guy with a big heart. We know many of the people who have worked for and with him, and he seemingly was respected and beloved by all. A movie about Andrew called, I believe, “Hating Breitbart,” will be coming out in a few months. It documents a tumultuous year in Andrew’s life; from the scenes I have seen, it will be fascinating. His untimely death will put those events in a different and sadder light.
I didn’t know Andrew well, but considered him a friend. Working with Andrew was always fun; his enthusiasm was infectious and he brought more energy to everything he did than a normal human being would consider possible. He was a warrior in the cause of freedom. Andrew cannot be replaced, but he will long serve as an inspiration to his fellow conservatives. We extend our deepest sympathy to his widow and his four children. Andrew Breitbart, RIP.
STEVE adds: News of Andrew’s passing spread quickly even down here in the internet-deprived Hillsdale College cruise in the South Atlantic. Andrew had been a speaker on the Hillsdale cruise in previous years. I didn’t know him well, but had spent some time with him now and then over the last few years. He was mildly disdainful of intellectuals like me, not because he was anti-intellectual in the least, but because he was in a hurry. My approach took too long.* He preferred the sharp and direct hand-to-hand combat with the Left, and needless to say his media genius will be irreplaceable. His various “Big” sites were rapidly making him into the Rupert Murdoch of Internet news.
* One of our times together was at the Claremont Institute’s Lincoln Fellows program a few summers back, where he challenged us political philosophy types to work harder to translate our thought into action, or help him to do so. That’s what he’d want us to do more than ever now that he’s gone.