ObituaryRobert Novak, 78Columnist, TV pundit, "Prince of Darkness"
By Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times
Washington Bureau Chief, August 18, 2009
WASHINGTON--Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak, one of the nation's most influential journalists, who relished his "Prince of Darkness" public persona, died at home here early Tuesday morning after a battle with brain cancer.
"He was someone who loved being a journalist, love journalism and loved his country and loved his family, Novak's wife, Geraldine, told the Sun-Times on Tuesday.
"Bob was always the pro, no matter what he had going on he was always at the ready to help out on stories, and he broke more than his share. Even as he became a national figure he was always proud to be part of the Sun-Times and we were proud of him," said Don Hayner, Editor in Chief of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Novak's remarkable and long-running career made him a powerful presence in newspaper columns, newsletters, books and on television.
On May 15, 1963, Novak teamed up with the late Rowland Evans Jr. to create the "Inside Report" political column, which became the must-read syndicated column. Evans tapped Novak, then a 31-year old correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, to help with the workload of a six-day-a-week column.
Evans and Novak were the odd couple: Evans a Philadelphia blue blood and Yale graduate; Novak from Joliet, Ill. who attended the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana campus.
Novak handled the column solo after Evans retired in 1993. The Chicago Sun-Times has been Novak's home paper since 1966.
Robert David Sanders Novak, 78, was born and raised in Joliet and his first newspaper jobs were with the Joliet Herald-News and, while a student at the University of Illinois, the Champaign-Urbana Courier. Novak maintained a lifelong tie to the University of Illinois with the school creating the Robert D. Novak chair of Western Civilization and Culture.
Mrs. Novak said that her husband passed away at 4:30 a.m., returning home after being hospitalized between July 10 and July 24. Novak's malignant brain tumor was discovered July 27, 2008.
Besides Mrs. Novak, survivors include son Alex, 41, a marketing executive for Eagle Publishing and daughter Zelda, 44, who is married to the journalist Christopher Caldwell. Novak is the grandfather Jane, Philip, Eliza, and George Caldwell, and Max, Sam, Gloria, and Joseph Novak.
Visitation will take place at St. Patrick's in the City Catholic Church, 619 Tenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., on Thursday, August 20 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held at St. Patrick's in the City, 619 Tenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., on Friday, August 21 at 10:00 a.m. Interment private.
If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the Youth Leadership Foundation, 4101 Yuma Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20016 or the Children's Charities Foundation, 3000 K Street, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20007-5109http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2009...sun-times.html