Main | Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Robert Novak Dead At 78

Conservative columnist Robert Novak, known as the "Prince of Darkness" to his enemies, has died of brain cancer at the age of 78.
Novak’s remarkable and long-running career made him a powerful presence in newspaper columns, newsletters, books and on television. On May 15, 1963, Novak teamed up with the late Rowland Evans Jr. to create the “Inside Report” political column, which became the must-read syndicated column. Evans tapped Novak, then a 31-year old correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, to help with the workload of a six-day-a-week column. Evans and Novak were the od d couple: Evans a Philadelphia blue blood and Yale graduate; Novak from Joliet, Ill. who attended the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana campus. Novak handled the column solo after Evans retired in 1993. The Chicago Sun-Times has been Novak’s home paper since 1966.
In 2003 Novak was accused of deliberately leaking the name of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA operative in Africa. Plame's identity was classified and the "Plame Affair" consumed the national press for months, some of whom accused Karl Rove or Dick Cheney of ordering the leak. Novak's revelation ended Plame's career with the CIA, but he was never charged with breaching national security. Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby was eventually convicted.

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