William F. Buckley's Impact on My Life

William F. Buckley: Right From the Start premieres on Saturday, March 1 at 10 p.m. ET — Don't miss this retrospective of the man who started the conservative movement in America!

It’s fair to say I probably wouldn’t be working in journalism if it wasn’t for William F. Buckley, Jr., who died this week.

The same could be said for a lot of journalists he encouraged when they were first starting out. I first sent him a letter when I was in college and was thrilled to get a personal response, which read at the bottom “dictated in Switzerland,” where he went every year to ski and write yet another one of his many books. We kept corresponding, and when I graduated, he offered to give me ad space in his magazine to advertise my meager journalistic skills. That ad led to a job with a magazine, and I kept going from there, occasionally working for Bill at National Review. I’m quite sure my quest for journalism’s golden ring would have ended long ago without his encouraging words.

What’s remarkable is that he managed to find the time to coach literally hundreds of unknown young people into success while maintaining his legendary, breakneck schedule. Bill’s life affected thousands, maybe even millions when you include those who were moved to action by his articles, books or TV shows.

But the thing about Bill Buckley that is often overlooked was his unfailing kindness. He had a biting wit that he could use at lethal speed in his debates. And he loved the truth enough never to hold back just for friendship’s sake. But the minute the camera was off or the editorial meeting was over, Bill became the very essence of graciousness. And that graciousness extended far beyond those who shared his views, or his position on the totem pole. He treated everyone with the same respect, from kings to interns to strangers. He always looked for the best in people, and most times he found it.

For all his brilliance and skill, it was his kindness and decency that stand out in my mind above everything. It may seem trite to place those simple virtues above his many accomplishments. But in the end, these were the tender mercies that so moved those who loved him and will miss him. And when you consider how often he wrote about, discussed and even yearned for the ultimate simplicity of faith, I believe he would have liked that.

David Asman is a business anchor for the FOX Business Channel. Click here for his bio!

David Asman joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 1997 and currently serves as host of "Forbes on FOX," a weekend half-hour program that offers an informative look at the business week (Saturday from 11:00-11:30 AM/ET). Asman is also an anchor on FOX Business Network, where he co-hosts "After the Bell" (4-5 PM/ET) with anchor Melissa Francis.