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Conservative Columnist Tony Blankley Dies at 63

Tony Blankley, a noted conservative author and commentator and former editorial page editor of The Washington Times, died Sunday morning, according to family sources, the paper reports. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been battling stomach cancer, was an executive vice president of the Edelman public-relations firm in Washington, a visiting senior fellow in national-security communications at the Heritage Foundation, a syndicated newspaper columnist and an on-air political commentator for CNN, NBC and NPR.

He was also a regular weekly guest on "The McLaughlin Group."

Blankley was editorial page editor of The Times from 2002 to 2007, and from 1990 to 1997 he served as press secretary and general adviser to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, according to the Washington Times.

A Loyola University law graduate, he served six years in the Reagan administration in a variety of positions, including speechwriter and senior policy analyst. He also spent 10 years as a prosecutor with the California attorney general's office.

Born in London, he became a naturalized American citizen after his parents moved to California after World War II. As a child, he acted in such television shows as "Lassie," "Highway Patrol" and "Make Room for Daddy," and he also appeared in movies with such stars as Humphrey Bogart and Rod Steiger.

He and his wife, Dr. Lynda Davis of Great Falls, Va., had three children.

 

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