Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative columnist and former White House speechwriter for Richard Nixon William Safire has died at the age of 79 of cancer
Language expert William Safire died on Sunday from cancer at the age of 79, according to the Associated Press. Rosemary Shields, Safire's assistant, denied to confirm what specific type of cancer he passed away from.
Safire wrote op-ed pieces for the New York Times for more than 30 years. He also had a "On Language" column for the New York Times that would trace the origin of words and phrases such as "under the bus" and the proof is in the pudding." Safire wrote 15 books on the subject as well.
The columnist wrote over 3,000 columns for the Times and often defended civil liberties and Israel. One time, former United States President Bill Clinton wanted to punch Safire in the nose after he called his wife a "genital liar."
He won the Pulitzer-Prize in 1978 for his columns on the Carter White House Budget Director Bert Lance's financial affairs, reports USA Today.