Pro-Life Syndicated Columnist Bob Novak Dies, Enjoyed Writing Against Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 18, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Syndicated Columnist Bob Novak Dies, Enjoyed Writing Against Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 18
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Robert Novak, the pro-life syndicated columnist and political television analyst has died after battling brain cancer. His wife, Geraldine Novak, informed his hometown newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times, that Novak, who was 78 years-old, died at home today.

Novak was long known as the host of CNN’s "Crossfire" and had been a columnist for the Sun-Times for decades.

His columns, which were syndicated in newspapers across the nation, were well-regarded for their investigative qualities and he consistently advocated the pro-life view — regularly holding abortion advocates accountable for their deeds and misstatements.

"More than anyone else in journalism I admired the way he operated," the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes said. "He was a conservative but he was always very tough on Republicans as well as Democrats, and he terrified a lot of politicians in town."

In pro-life circles, Novak was appreciated for exposing how now-Obama health secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a secret party at the Kansas governor’s mansion with the late late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller.

Rumors of the party had circulated for months and first appeared in print when nationally syndicated columnist Bob Novak mentioned them in an article saying Sebelius’ pro-abortion views would fit with those of President Barack Obama.

Novak called the governor “the national pro-choice poster girl.”

But Novak wasn’t always a pro-life muckraker.

"When I started out, I didn’t have any agenda or tablet of principles at all. But in the course of writing about things and getting exclusive information, I might have helped certain causes," he once said in an interview.

"When we started the column, Rowly and I were neutral on abortion, maybe leaning toward pro-choice. I began to read, think about it, and by the time I embraced Catholicism, I was adamantly against abortion. I’m happy that I moved in that direction," he said.

Novak went on to say that he wish he had written more about the topic.

"I think I would have been better off to write about tax cuts and abortion and less about inside politics," he said.

In a memorial editorial, pro-life columnist Cal Thomas said Novak more firmly religion recently.

"Novak was known for being well-connected in Washington, but not many may know that in recent years he was welcomed into the Roman Catholic church. Novak was a descendant of Russian Jews and was famous for a tough exterior through which few could penetrate," Thomas writes. "But apparently God got through!"

Novak said in an interview at the time: "A priest who visited me told me I’ve been given a chance to prepare myself. So I began to think about my life and what I’ve done right and not done right and to prepare myself for the last days. I’ve found that reassuring."

Novak was diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2008.

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