Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer has died, The Washington Post confirmed Thursday. He was 68.
The announcement came nearly two weeks after the columnist and Fox News personality revealed in a Washington Post column that he only had weeks left to live. For most of the last year, he wrote, he’d been recovering from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his abdomen. Though the procedure was initially thought to be successful, the cancer returned and began spreading rapidly.
“This is the final verdict,” he wrote. “My fight is over.”
Krauthammer, a psychiatrist-turned-media personality, used his final column to reflect on the opportunity his career gave him in playing a “small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny.”
Reactions to Charles Krauthammer's death at 68
Reactions to Charles Krauthammer's death at 68
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: Charles Krauthammer, columnist for The Washington Post via Getty Images on March 16, 1985 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Ray Lustig/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Charles Krauthammer will long be remembered for his eloquence, his triumph in hardship, and his countless contribut… https://t.co/CgW8REQ8cT
BREAKING NEWS: Charles Krauthammer, Pulitzer Prize winner and longtime Fox News contributor, dead at 68.… https://t.co/h6zWnc5rXo
There will never be another Dr. @krauthammer - never. His brilliance, humor and kindness brightened the lives of e… https://t.co/R5xgRH0Rb0
We are all deeply saddened by this news. Our prayers are with his wife and son— https://t.co/EItJ83ehSV
Praying for the family of Charles Krauthammer. He was an intellectual giant loved and respected by all. His legacy… https://t.co/buP2UzJccg
God rest the soul of the great Charles Krauthammer the guru of intellect honesty truth logic & commonsense
very sad to report the death of Charles Krauthammer - award winning journalist and a courageous, caring man
Cindy & I are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend Charles Krauthammer. Brilliant, kind, funny & generous,… https://t.co/bBDJoZfcZn
RIP Charles Krauthammer. He was such a decent man. His commentary was principled and piercing. What a loss.
Very sad to learn of the passing of Charles @krauthammer He was a thoughtful and intelligent voice that will be… https://t.co/J1rNn6WLwY
Charles Krauthammer passed away today at 68 years old. Rest in peace, Charles. You will be missed. https://t.co/6f8JkyBCSj
RIP Charles Krauthammer.
A brilliant political analyst.
Loved his commentaries, which were always fair, balanced,… https://t.co/SYxRs4i1rk
Gutted by this news. The greatest political commentator of my generation - a true conservative icon. I will miss hi… https://t.co/wFfEsVJJm4
One of America’s greatest, Charles Krauthammer, has passed away. No matter what challenge life threw at him, he fou… https://t.co/0wDCv7Aqrl
Charles was a brilliant thinker and an outstanding communicator--but far more importantly, a man of unwavering char… https://t.co/F96X8fDeTC
Many of us in political media stand on the shoulders of giants.
Charles Krauthammer was one of the tallest. R.I.P… https://t.co/1YnItEvvsa
The only time I ever met Charles Krauthammer was a brief encounter and intro in the Fox DC green room. I walked in… https://t.co/s0GRm8IEOR
RIP our friend Charles Krauthammer. His entire life was a profile in courage. An amazing man, a brilliant mind, and… https://t.co/GH0S7p4eVB
Conservatism has lost a true warrior and giant. My heart breaks for his family, friends, colleagues, and fans.
Charles Krauthammer has passed away, and with his loss a monumental conservative beacon. I had the deep pleasure of… https://t.co/gGhdWowvRX
Words are inadequate for expressing feelings about the loss of Charles Krauthammer. I learned more from him than ju… https://t.co/m6p8XwZWHm
Sad to hear of the passing of Charles Krauthammer. He was a champion of the conservative movement and will be misse… https://t.co/pTaIIL1OIW
RIP Charles Krauthammer. Your soaring intellect shall carry you well in your next life.
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“I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life — full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living,” he continued. “I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”
He is survived by his wife, Robyn, and a son, Daniel.
Although the conservative commentator spent the end of his career as a pundit on Fox News, the preferred news outlet of President Donald Trump, Krauthammer didn’t shy away from criticizing the president. He refused to vote for him and didn’t sugarcoat his belief that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 presidential election.
Krauthammer expressed those views in his weekly Washington Post political column, which he’d written since 1985 and had syndicated in hundreds of other publications. In 1987, the gig earned him a Pulitzer Prize honoring him for his “witty and insightful columns on national issues.” He stopped regularly writing it last summer after his diagnosis.
Before transitioning into media, he earned a degree in psychiatry from Harvard Medical School. In his first year there, Krauthammer was injured in a diving board accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down and required him to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
“I don’t like when they make a big thing about it,” he said of his disability in a 1984 interview. “And the worst thing is when they tell me how courageous I am. That drives me to distraction.”
Krauthammer excelled in psychiatry, earning top honors at Harvard and later publishing award-winning psychiatric research on the origins of mania. Despite his successes in the field, he said he didn’t enjoy the work and began transitioning into the media world just a few years after earning his medical degree.
“I’ve had a very checkered, irregular career. ... I just had a tug, a feeling that there was a wider world out there I wanted to get involved in,” he reflected in a 2005 C-SPAN interview.
In addition to his contributions to The Washington Post and Fox News, Krauthammer helped plan psychiatric research under President Jimmy Carter’s administration, worked as an editor and writer at The New Republic, and gained national recognition as a columnist for Time magazine.