William Safire, a onetime speechwriter for President Nixon who became a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, has died at age 79, the newspaper announced Sunday.
Safire joined the Times as a columnist in 1973. In addition to his conservative news columns, which he wrote until 2005, he wrote a language column for the paper’s Sunday magazine from 1979 until shortly before his death. He won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1978 for his columns on the travails surrounding Bert Lance, who resigned under fire as President Carter’s budget director in 1977. Safire had suffered from pancreatic cancer and died Sunday at a hospice in Rockville, Maryland, the newspaper reported.