The world of conservative publishing lost one of its most controversial figures Thursday when he unexpectedly died at age 43.
Andrew Breitbart, the rabble-rousing conservative activist, Web publisher, husband, and father of four, died in Los Angeles shortly after midnight Thursday, his Web site Big Government reported this morning in a short, mournful announcement. It offered up, as a sort of parting sentiment, an update Breitbart wrote for his most recent book. "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," it states. "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."
As news of his death spread Thursday, old friends, bitter foes, and all manner of people in between reflected on the shock of a man so full of vim and vigor dying so young; he was just 43 years old. "Andrew Breitbart was a major force in making conservatism more gay-friendly. Such a loss," journalist James Kirchick said. "Whether junketeering in Baku or showing photos of Weiner's weiner to Indian businessmen at a bar in NYC, Andrew was the funniest and funnest."