Charles Krauthammer: Resquiescat in Pace

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I have been uncharacteristically silent these past ten months. I had thought that silence would soon be coming to an end, but I’m afraid I must tell you now that fate has decided on a different course for me.

In August of last year, I underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in my abdomen. That operation was thought to have been a success, but it caused a cascade of secondary complications — which I have been fighting in hospital ever since. It was a long and hard fight with many setbacks, but I was steadily, if slowly, overcoming each obstacle along the way and gradually making my way back to health.

However, recent tests have revealed that the cancer has returned. There was no sign of it as recently as a month ago, which means it is aggressive and spreading rapidly. My doctors tell me their best estimate is that I have only a few weeks left to live. This is the final verdict. My fight is over.

I wish to thank my doctors and caregivers, whose efforts have been magnificent. My dear friends, who have given me a lifetime of memories and whose support has sustained me through these difficult months. And all of my partners at The Washington Post, Fox News, and Crown Publishing.

Lastly, I thank my colleagues, my readers, and my viewers, who have made my career possible and given consequence to my life’s work. I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking. I am grateful to have played a small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny.

I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life — full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.

Charles Krauthammer, June 8, 2018

 

 

Charles Krauthammer has died at age 68.  He met his death from cancer with the courage that one would expect from someone confined to a wheel chair from the age of 22 by a diving accident, and who went on to live a life full enough for ten able bodied men.  A psychiatrist by training, for decades he was a public intellectual in the best sense:  a man of endless intellectual curiosity who came to his opinions based upon a dispassionate analysis of the evidence.  I often disagreed with his opinions, but I recognized that he brought a powerful intellect to the issues of the day and a profound sense of fairness.  He made a slow trajectory from the political left to the political right, but he always retained a sense of humor and a desire to understand the positions of his adversaries.

In a time of ranters and frauds, Krauthammer was a true gentleman and a true scholar, and I will miss him.  He defined himself religiously as a skeptical Jew, but he also had this to say of atheism:

“Atheism is the least plausible of all theologies. I mean, there are a lot of wild ones out there, but the one that clearly runs so contrary to what is possible, is atheism”. 

 

May God have been gentle with him when he came to his particular judgment.  Prayers for him, for his one and only wife, and his son, and for the world which is poorer by his passing.  Although he spent his adult life in a wheel cheer, when the Grim Reaper came for him I am sure that Mr. Krauthammer met him standing on his feet.

 

 

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13 Comments

  1. I did not always agree with Charles Krauthammer, but his conversion to the Right was indeed genuine. We are poorer for his passing.

  2. One of the few pundits that I have had great respect for. His passing reminds me of Christopher Hitchens. Though their styles of engagement were different, they both offered insightful & profound thoughts of the zeitgeist.

    May Charles Krauthammer be enjoying the beatific vision of our Lord.

  3. There is a Yiddish word that applies: “mensch” –literally “man,” but more–a good man, a man you would want to be your friend, a courageous man, a man who lives a moral life. The parents’ injunction to their son: “Be a mensch.” There’ll be an hour retrospective of his life on Fox New tonight at 9 pm (EDT) (Friday, the 22nd). I’ll be watching.

  4. @Bob Kurland
    That’s exactly what Jonah Goldberg said about the man in the latest GLoP podcast.

    It was a touching remembrance of the man (ironically posted before he died).

    He led quite a life – I had no idea about half of it. As the parable talks about, he made great returns on the talents he was given. An inspiration for us all.

  5. I hazard to guess that if any of us were to wish to model our last moments on someone, I think we would prefer to wish to be like Charles Krauthammer, with the grace and courage with which he faced the Final Crossing, rather than the ragings and recriminations of a certain self-absorbed US senator.

  6. @Bob Kurland

    Here is a link to the podcast in question. It’s in the 2nd half (sorry I don’t remember the exact time code.

    This is Jonah’s specific podcast, he and Hayes reminisce on Dr. Krauthammer as well.

    Would that I have a friends speak half as well of me as everyone has spoken of Charles. People like him help one understand why Jesus wept at a funeral.

    “we follow One who stood and wept at the grave of Lazarus-not surely, because He was grieved that Mary and Martha wept, and sorrowed for their lack of faith (though some thus interpret) but because death, the punishment of sin, is even more horrible in his eyes than in ours.” -CS Lewis

  7. Charles, a truly great American, great man. ..am praying for him and his family. He will definitely be missed See you down the road, Charles, Thanks for all you gave, which was huge.

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