Former White House Press Secretary, media columnist and commentator and Kentucky native Tony Snow died of cancer earlier today at the age of 53. The New York Times has published a great tribute based upon comments of, among others, Ann Compton of ABC News and Dana Perino, who was Snow's successor at the White House:
Ms. Compton, who had been in touch with Mr. Snow in recent months, said his condition took a turn for the worse after the White House correspondents’ dinner in April. “He had a front-row seat and he looked wonderful,” at the event, she said.
But he later e-mailed her to say that he had been suffering intestinal problems — “a bump in the road,” she said he called it — and was having a harder time than expected recovering. On June 13, while traveling in Paris with Mr. Bush, Ms. Compton received another unexpected electronic missive from Mr. Snow, who by then was quite sick, she said.
He had heard that Helen Thomas, the 87-year-old veteran White House correspondent with whom he had had some of his most pointed exchanges, was ill. “If in touch, would you please pass on my love,” Mr. Snow wrote.
Ms. Perino said Mr. Snow was the inspiration for her 2008 New Year’s resolution, which was always to take her husband’s telephone calls, no matter how busy she was at work. “We learned a lot from him — most importantly how we should love our families and treat one another,” she said. “The White House has lost a great friend.”
Update: Another piece worth reading about Tony Snow, this one penned by Susan Estrich, is here.