Conservative Media Icon Andrew Breitbart Passes Away

National   Steven Ertelt   Mar 1, 2012   |   11:24AM    Washington, DC

Conservative media icon and pro-life advocate Andrew Breitbart passed away at the age of 43 this morning, dying in Los Angeles.

Breitbart’s website bigjournalism.com and his other media entities that he put together after serving as the editor of the Drudge Report have pushed the pro-life cause and helped organizations like Live Action expose and bring attention to abuses at the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Breitbart’s website, Big Government, announced the news Thursday morning.

“With a terrible feeling of pain and loss we announce the passing of Andrew Breitbart,” the report reads. “Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles. We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior. Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love. Andrew is at rest, yet the happy warrior lives on, in each of us.”

Breitbart had suffered from health issues recently.

Breitbart was walking near his house in the Brentwood neighborhood shortly after midnight Thursday when he collapsed, his father-in-law Orson Bean said. Someone saw him fall and called paramedics, who tried to revive him. They rushed him to the emergency room at UCLA Medical Center, Bean said. Breitbart had suffered heart problems a year earlier, but Bean said he could not pinpoint what happened.

Leading pro-life advocates are mourning his passing, with former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson saying, “So sad and shocked to hear about the death of Andrew Breitbart. May we all stand for truth as he did.”

I’m deeply saddened by the loss of conservative and pro-life journalist Andrew Breitbart,” Students for Life director Kristan Hawkins told LifeNews. “Andrew was a wonderful friend to the pro-life movement and spoke publicly about his pro-life views for the first time at a SFLA-hosted event last month.” (see below)

“His passion to defend conservative and pro-life ideals – fueled by his own adoption – have made him a leader in exposing the corruption and bias of the media. I’m so happy that his mom chose life. He leaves behind an inspiring and beautiful legacy, including four children. Our team at SFLA is continuing to pray for his family,” she said.

Lila Rose of Live Action told LifeNews: “Today we are mourning the loss of a great soul and friend who passed away last night. Andrew Breitbart believed and fought passionately to protect liberty and life….Andrew, thank you for your life of courage that inspired many. We will miss you. God rest your courageous and loving soul.”

The Mashable web site profiles Breitbart’s involvement with Drudge that boosted his career.

According to Cnet, Breitbart was working for E Entertainment Television in 1995, when he emailed Matt Drudge professing his admiration for The Drudge Report. “In the e-mail I said, ‘Are you 50 people? A hundred people? Is there a building?’” Breitbart told CNet in 2005, noting that Drudge ran the site by himself at the time. “I thought what he was doing was by far the coolest thing on the Internet. And I still do.”

Drudge hired Breitbart as a paid assistant after that and Breitbart parlayed that association into the launch of Breitbart.com. Breitbart launched a bunch of other websites as well, including BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, BigJournalism.com and BigPeace.com.

Andrew recently wrote a new conclusion to his book, Righteous Indignation:

I love my job. I love fighting for what I believe in. I love having fun while doing it. I love reporting stories that the Complex refuses to report. I love fighting back, I love finding allies, and—famously—I enjoy making enemies.

Three years ago, I was mostly a behind-the-scenes guy who linked to stuff on a very popular website. I always wondered what it would be like to enter the public realm to fight for what I believe in. I’ve lost friends, perhaps dozens. But I’ve gained hundreds, thousands—who knows?—of allies. At the end of the day, I can look at myself in the mirror, and I sleep very well at night.