Novak's Friends Offer Tributes

Friends, politicians, and political pundits share their thoughts with HUMAN EVENTS on legendary journalist Bob Novak, who passed away August 18:

Rush Limbaugh, syndicated talk show host and author: Bob Novak held my attention, always. He was so hard working and so wired into DC. I always wanted to know what he knew and thought about things because he was the best. I never doubted a Novak story. I can’t say that about anyone else in journalism today.

Mark Levin, syndicated talk show host and author: I am very sadden[ed] to learn of Bob’s death. When I first came to Washington in December 1980, as part of the incoming Reagan administration, I met Bob in early January. I was warned that Bob was a pretty tough character. Well, I found him to be a very decent, honorable, down to earth guy who cared deeply about his country. And no one worked harder to get a good story and get it right. Bob made a difference. I will miss him. God bless you, Bob.

Karl Rove, Republican political strategist: He was a remarkable journalist and a principled person … with an ever-curious mind and encyclopedic knowledge of how Washington worked that made him an interesting friend. I had lunch with him a couple weeks ago, and I left there feeling very sad but also very grateful for his friendship.

Sean Hannity, syndicated talk show host and host of Fox News’ “Hannity”: Bob Novak was one of the greatest reporters of all time. When I got to know him — and he was a really hard person to get to know — and he loved that part of himself, the Prince of Darkness as he referred to himself. He really was a soft hearted, wonderful guy and a great reporter.

Donald Rumsfeld, former secretary of defense: A tireless reporter and a sharp political commentator, Bob Novak was a man of deep conviction. He will surely be missed.When his colleagues went one way, Bob was content to forge his own path, his keen sense of what the American public considered newsworthy leading the way. The long, successful run of the Evans and Novak syndicated column was a testimony to his perseverance and skill. To understand Bob’s five successful decades as a political reporter, it is helpful to appreciate that his first passion was not politics but sports. Bob relished combat and competition, and his columns and reporting conveyed his primal delight in watching political figures debate and engage in the political arena. First covering local news in Chicago, Bob earned his success by long hours behind his typewriter, thousands of phone calls, and dogged persistence. A bracingly honest reporter and friend, Bob was a good and decent man, whose hard-nosed reporting will not be soon replaced. His wife, Geraldine, and children, Zelda and Alex, are in our thoughts, as they always were in his.

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nation: Bob Novak was a Washington institution. He was a real reporter and although he wrote on the editorial page, he did his own investigations and often found out a lot more than main stream media who were his competitors. Bob didn’t mind the criticism he got for the issues he pursued. I spoke to him on any number of occasions on national security issues he was as thoroughly informed as anyone in the government on the things he was pursuing. He was fair, honest and he was a great writer. We are all going to miss him.

Greg Mueller, president of CRC Public Relations, GOP Strategist, friend of Novak: Bob Novak was clearly one of the top journalists of the 20th century, covering and chronicling more news and history than almost any other journalist of his time. He was everything journalists are taught to be — fair, honest, prodding, meticulous, skeptical and principled; he was a journalists, journalist. While he was nicknamed the Prince of Darkness, there was nothing “dark” about Bob — he was a true gentlemen and a truly decent, caring man. He had as many Democrat sources and friends as he had Republicans. While many of us who knew him well will miss his cutting, breaking news columns each week, and those truly wonderful visits to his office, what we will miss most is the presence and dedication of a good and loyal friend.

Fred Thompson, GOP primary candidate for 2008 presidential election: Most people in politics today grew up under Bob Novak with a combination of fear and admiration. Bob was truly a giant and will be missed by all who knew him as well as the profession of journalism.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: For more than half a century, Robert Novak explained the politics and the personalities of Washington to readers across the country through a mix of tireless shoe leather reporting and the kind of keen insight that can only be gained through years and years of dedication to a craft. He was a Washington institution who could turn an idea into the most discussed story around kitchen tables, Congressional offices, the White House, and everywhere in between. Elaine and I extend our deepest sympathies to the entire Novak family.

Michael Barone, syndicated columnist: Bob Novak has died after battling cancer for two years. He had a unique career in Washington journalism, producing scoop after scoop from his arrival in town in 1957 until he was diagnosed with cancer more than 50 years later. He capped this off with his autobiography, inevitably titled The Prince of Darkness. I was honored to be asked to review the book in the Weekly Standard. Let me quote my tag (last sentence, for those unschooled in journalese): “Anyone interested in politics, journalism, and the course of public events over the last 50 years who does not buy and read The Prince of Darkness is denying himself one of the pleasures that life on this earth very seldom offers.