March 9, 2011
David Broder in a 2004 photo. (Sam Kittner/Newseum)

David Broder in a 2004 photo. (Sam Kittner/Newseum)

Remembering David Broder

David Broder, the Pulitzer Prize-winning political columnist for The Washington Post who was known as the dean of the Washington press corps, died March 9 of complications from diabetes. He was 81.

Broder covered every presidential convention since 1956, traveling constantly to take the political pulse of the nation. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Broder, then 78, reported from the early battleground states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

For most of the past 40 years, he wrote two columns a week that appeared in 300 newspapers and reported daily on national politics for the Post.

“His shoe-leather reporting paid off repeatedly,” wrote Robert Kaiser, an associate editor at the Post.

Former Post executive editor Benjamin C. Bradlee called Broder “the best political correspondent in America.”

Broder started his journalism career at the Congressional Quarterly after leaving the Army. He joined the Post in 1966 after a brief stint with The New York Times. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for his commentary on the Watergate scandal.

Born in Chicago Heights, Ill., Broder was a devoted fan of the Chicago Cubs. He invoked the name of the hapless team in a Feb. 6, 2011, column about the current crisis in the Middle East. The column was his last.

“Having grown up in the Chicago area, rooting for years for the luckless Cubs and more recently for the hapless Washington Nationals, I feel particularly qualified to comment on the Obama administration’s struggles to find a useful role to play in the crisis racking Egypt and the wider Arab world. … The simple fact is that there is little Washington can do about the impact of successive years of terrible winter weather or the upheaval in Cairo, which threatens America’s interests in the Middle East,” he said.

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