- - Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tony Blankley, a former top aide to House Speaker Newt Gingrich and longtime editorial page editor and columnist for The Washington Times, will remembered and celebrated at a memorial ceremony to be held Wednesday, Feb. 1 at the Washington National Cathedral.

The service will begin at 10 a.m.

Mr. Blankley, who boasted friends across the political spectrum after a long career in law, politics, journalism and public relations, succumbed to stomach cancer Jan. 7 at the age of 63. At the time of his death, Mr. Blankley was an executive vice president at Edelman Public Relations, a visiting senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a frequent on-air commentator for CNN, NBC and NPR, and a regular panelist on “The McLaughlin Group.”

His highly varied resume included a short career as a child movie and television actor in the early 1950s, a decade of work as a prosecutor in the California attorney general’s office after earning his law degree, and a stint as a policy analyst and speechwriter in the Reagan White House in the 1980s.

From 1990 to 1997, he served as press secretary and general adviser to Mr. Gingrich, quickly earning a reputation among political friends and foes as one of the capital’s most quick-witted, generous and effective operatives.

Mr. Gingrich earlier this month praised his former aide as “a caring and loving person.”

“He was a tremendous amount of fun, remarkably erudite and educated,” the former speaker recalled.

Mr. Blankley directed The Washington Times’ editorial page from 2002 to 2007, and also authored two books while continuing to contribute regularly to The Times: “American Grit: What It Will Take to Survive and Win in the 21st Century” and “The West’s Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations?”

Mr. Blankley, a naturalized American citizen born in London in 1948, is survived by his wife, Lynda Davis, and their three children.