Society

Conservative Writer Kate O'Beirne Dies At 67

| by Michael Howard

Famed conservative commentator Kate O'Beirne has died from cancer. She was 67.

O'Beirne served as the Washington editor of National Review for 11 years before becoming president of National Review Institute, a position she held for six years. She was a panelist on CNN's "Capital Gang" and made frequent appearances on NBC's "Meet the Press," according to National Review.

Before joining the popular conservative publication, O'Beirne was vice president of government relations at The Heritage Foundation. She also served in the Reagan administration as deputy assistant secretary for legislation at the Department of Health and Human Services between 1986 and 1988.

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O'Beirne's book, "Women Who Make the World Worse and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military and Sports," was published in 2005.

"Both her 'Bread and Circuses' column for NR and her television commentary were marked by a rare combination of a deep interest in conservative policy, psychological insight, and common sense," National Review columnist Ramesh Ponnuru wrote in a eulogy. "Many of those same qualities put her advice -- on politics, editorials, careers, and personal matters -- in high demand."

Ponnuru added that O'Beirne was a longtime smoker, a habit that "caught up with her last year."

CNN's Sam Feist described her as a "legend."

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"Kate O'Beirne was a legend for all the right reasons," he wrote. "Kate was a fierce conservative woman during an era when she would have said women were rarely described as conservatives and even more rarely described as fierce."

"Kate O'Beirne wasn't just a conservative, she was conservative with a pronounced New York accent, something even more rare," Feist continued. "And she could make an argument better, faster and with more wit than almost anyone else in Washington."

Albert Hunt, one of O'Beirne's fellow panelists on "Capital Gang," said he'll remember her as a devoted wife and mother, and one who it was easy to have a pleasant conversation with.

"We didn't often agree on policy or politics but Saturday nights we always walked off the set smiling, maybe over some piercing comment she had made, sometimes just chatting about family -- central to what Kate was about -- or perhaps laughing over an outrageous Bob Novak remark," he said.

The National Review reports that O'Beirne -- a devout Catholic -- spent her final days clutching a rosary, kept company by family and friends. She is survived by her husband, Jim, and her two sons, Phil and John.

Sources: National Review (2), CNN / Photo credit: blickpixel/Pixabay, National Review

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