- The Washington Times - Monday, August 16, 2010

DISTRICT

Columnist, editor Kilpatrick dies at 89

James J. Kilpatrick, who rose from cub reporter to become one of the South’s most prominent newspaper editors and the nation’s most widely syndicated political columnist, has died. He was 89.

Mr. Kilpatrick’s wife, Marianne Means, said he died Sunday night at George Washington University Hospital. Mrs. Means said he was being treated for congestive heart failure.

TV watchers in the 1970s knew Mr. Kilpatrick as the conservative half of the “Point-Counterpoint” segment on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” His sparring with liberal commentator Shana Alexander was famously parodied on “Saturday Night Live.”

Mrs. Means, also a former journalist, described him as “a great family man” and a cultural icon of his era.

“He was a wonderful human being,” said Mrs. Means, 76. “He cultivated a public image on TV of being a cranky conservative … but he wasn’t a cranky conservative at home.”

Before retiring a couple of years ago, he worked for years for Universal Press Syndicate.

He also was the author of a dozen books and numerous magazine articles. He wrote columns on the U.S. Supreme Court and “The Writer’s Art,” on the use and abuse of the English language, which appeared in hundreds of daily newspapers.

DEFENSE

Defense secretary to retire next year

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates plans to leave his job next year.

A Republican and holdover from the Bush administration, Mr. Gates had agreed to stay on at the request of President Obama. The move was intended to maintain stability at a time of two wars, although Mr. Gates has been open about his desire to return to civilian life in his home state of Washington.

In an interview published Monday, Mr. Gates told Foreign Policy magazine that leaving in 2011 makes sense. It would give him time to oversee the major offensive under way in Afghanistan but bow out before the 2012 presidential election.

Mr. Gates has been defense secretary since December 2006.

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