- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 31, 2005

Thomas J. Brazaitis, 64, newspaper columnist

Thomas J. Brazaitis, a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and former chief of the newspaper’s Washington bureau, died March 30 at his home in the District. He was 64. He was diagnosed six years ago with kidney cancer.

Mr. Brazaitis wrote a column for more than 20 years, was bureau chief in Washington for 19 years and became the paper’s senior Washington editor in 1998.

He retired in 2003 as his health declined but continued to write his Sunday column, which was distributed by the Newhouse News Service, until a few months ago.

Although the column was mainly about national politics, Mr. Brazaitis also wrote about his disease and experimental treatments.

He wrote two books with his wife, Eleanor Clift, a Newsweek magazine contributing editor and commentator on television’s “The McLaughlin Group.” The 1966 book “War Without Bloodshed: the Art of Politics” was about the political culture in Washington, and “Madame President: Shattering the Last Glass Ceiling” (2000) was about the prospects of electing a female president.

Mr. Brazaitis worked for the Plain Dealer for 32 years, starting as a clerk while attending John Carroll University. An Army veteran, he was a member of the Gridiron Club and National Press Club in Washington and past president of the Washington Press Club Foundation.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, daughter, three stepsons and five grandchildren.

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