Breaking: RIP, Andrew Breitbart; Update: Collapsed while taking a walk near home

posted at 9:16 am on March 1, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Terrible news from our friends at Big Journalism, confirmed by Ben Howe on Twitter:

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.

I can’t say that I knew Andrew well, but I knew him enough to know that we have lost a stalwart fighter.  Andrew and I laughed together, debated together, occasionally disagreed together, and all of this passionately and memorably.  Andrew could be many things, sometimes concurrently, but he could never be ignored.

In some ways, Andrew was our Merry Prankster.  He was willing to take risks and look foolish in order to make a point or win an argument, with more courage than most would muster.  No one who saw it will ever forget how he seized the podium at Anthony Weiner’s press conference and demanded vindication from media outlets who had been disparaging him and defending Weiner when the former Congressman got caught literally with his pants down.  Few men have had the kind of impact Andrew did in such a short time, and he leaves behind a media empire that is still gaining strength.

I’m stunned that such a relatively young man has been taken from us at what appeared to be the peak of his life.  We will miss you, Andrew.  I will miss you — your energy, your boldness, and your many unremarked kindnesses to fellow conservatives.  Godspeed.

Update: Just remembered this great interview with Andrew from a little over a year ago on the Pigford settlement story.  I took this in the hallway of a conference in San Diego, and I basically just pointed the camera at him, asked him a single question, and Andrew did the rest.

Update: When a man as young as Andrew passes, everyone wonders how it could have happened.  According to Andrew’s father-in-law Orson Bean, he collapsed while taking a stroll near his home, and couldn’t be revived:

Breitbart was walking near his home in Brentwood, Calif just after midnight Thursday when he collapsed according to his father-in-law Orson Bean. Someone saw Breitbart fall and called 911. Emergency crews tried to revive him and rushed him to the emergency room at UCLA Medical Center, Bean said.

He is survived by his wife Susannah Bean Breitbart, 41, and four children.

Terribly sad.  Again, keep Susannah and the children in your prayers today.

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