The Washington Times - March 1, 2012, 09:21AM

*Update: 3/2/12 12:35 AM EST:

 An e-mail from a long-time Breitbart associate and friend was sent to me in regards to some of the nastier responses to Andrew Breitbart’s death:

SEE RELATED:


 “Most of Andrew’s opponents showed a lot class and respect today, and I’m grateful for that. And then there’s Matt Yglasis… His callousness and joy at the passing of a father of 4 young children was beyond the pale. Slate should rethink lending their credibility to someone of such low character. I, for one, will never forget my friend Andrew, nor will I forget those who dance with glee in front his wife and children as the news of his passing burned fresh in their hearts.”

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Andrew Breitbart’s website Big Government has announced the passing of Mr. Breitbart himself:

Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles.

We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior.

Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love.

Andrew recently wrote a new conclusion to his book, Righteous Indignation:

“I love my job. I love fighting for what I believe in. I love having fun while doing it. I love reporting stories that the Complex refuses to report. I love fighting back, I love finding allies, and—famously—I enjoy making enemies.Three years ago, I was mostly a behind-the-scenes guy who linked to stuff on a very popular website. I always wondered what it would be like to enter the public realm to fight for what I believe in. I’ve lost friends, perhaps dozens. But I’ve gained hundreds, thousands—who knows?—of allies. At the end of the day, I can look at myself in the mirror, and I sleep very well at night.”

Andrew was 43 years old. We at the Washington Times Water Cooler send our condolences to Mr. Breitbart’s family.

On a side note, Andrew was not only a professional I enjoyed working with but also a friend, and I will miss him dearly. 

Andrew was willing to take shots that were considered strategically risky and dealt with any blowback that came his way as a result of some of those risks. Budding citizen journalists found it amazing that Andrew would not only give out his e-mail address to strangers he met at conferences but also his personal cell phone number. 

I covered stories that Andrew was investigating as well as Andrew himself: 

Breitbart at NYC Weinergate Press Conference (2011)

Breitbart at Wisconsin Anti-Scott Walker protests(2011)

Breitbart at Netroots Nation (2011)

Andrew enjoyed making fun of those on the left who would say bitter and nasty insults to him. His latest street theater was walking through occupy protester crowds with as many dollar bills as possible and throwing the bills in the air. He wanted to see how many protesters would scramble to pick up the bills from the ground.

I first met Andrew at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, when he was finishing up his final months with Matt Drudge. I was sitting with him and a number of others at the conference hotel bar. Andrew pulled out his laptop and began quickly updating the Drudge Report. I peeked over at his screen and saw numerous newswires scrolling upward, as he chose which ones would be lucky enough to be chosen to be linked to the popular website.  

I last saw Andrew at the most recent CPAC, and I mentioned to him that there were rumors that occupy protesters had gotten hotel rooms within the CPAC hotel itself.

“Really?” He asked. “Do you have your video camera?” He questioned. I only had my I-Phone. “Let’s go find them in the hotel,” he said.

That mission did not pan out, but he did find plenty of occupy protesters to agitate outside of the hotel the following day.  

Andrew most recently tweeted out our story on Media Matters founder David Brock who ran from our camera, when we asked about the Daily Caller stories about him. When you knew Andrew Breitbart had your back it gave you a helluva lot more confidence.