July 14, 2008

Journalist Tony Snow Dies at 53

Tony Snow, a conservative TV and radio correspondent who became the chief spokesman for President Bush, died July 12 after a three-year battle with cancer.

Snow, 53, served as White House press secretary for 17 months beginning in April 2006 and was known for his charming manner and clever sound bites. He also could be confrontational, verbally sparring with reporters from behind the White House podium.

"He’s velvet glove and iron fist," CBS White House correspondent Jim Axelrod told The New York Times in 2006.

Snow began his career as a journalist, first as an editorial writer for the Greensboro Record and later as an editor on the editorial pages of the Newport News Daily Press, The Detroit News and The Washington Times. He also wrote an opinion column for USA Today.

Snow became the first anchor for the morning public affairs show "Fox News Sunday" in 1996. He left in 2003 to launch a syndicated radio show for Fox News.

In 2006, President Bush tapped him as press secretary, which surprised some, since Snow had been critical of Bush in some of his nationally syndicated columns.

Snow was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005. His tenure as press secretary was interrupted in early 2007 after a recurrence, but he went back to work in late April.

Upon his return, Snow told reporters, "Not everybody will survive cancer, but on the other hand, you’ve got to realize you’ve got the gift of life, so make the most of it."

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