- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tony was just a great person to be around. We used to sit and talk endlessly about politics, family and every topic imaginable, laughing through the whole conversation. His breadth of knowledge, charisma and positive outlook gave a breath of fresh air in the stuffy political world.

He often appeared on my television show and was loved by my whole staff. He brought energy to the green room, dazzled my producers and charmed the hair and makeup artists. Each time he was on the show, he would engage other panelists and guests on the show in “warm-up” discussions and banter, many times putting nervous guests at ease before their television appearances.

I was shocked to hear of Tony’s passing. We had known he was sick, but he always handled it with such dignity and poise, always telling me he felt great. It is sad to lose him at such an integral time in our nation’s history, of which he was highly involved and influential. This country will miss him greatly. As will I.

Sean Hannity is host of Fox News Channel’s show “Hannity.”