Author and satirist, P.J. O’Rourke has passed away at the age of 74. Joseph Pisani and Talal Ansari discuss his life in The Wall Street Journal, writing:
His death was confirmed by his publisher, Grove Atlantic. It said Mr. O’Rourke died Tuesday morning from complications related to lung cancer.
Mr. O’Rourke, a Republican, wrote about politics, cars, the economy and other subjects, mixing in his irreverent humor and sharp wit. He was known for his bestselling books, “Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government” and “Give War a Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind’s Struggle Against Tyranny, Injustice and Alcohol-Free Beer.”
Mr. O’Rourke spent more than two decades at various publications covering wars and regime changes. Most recently, he was a panelist on NPR’s quiz show, “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”
Born Nov. 14, 1947, in Toledo, Ohio, Mr. O’Rourke started his journalism career at underground newspapers in the early 1970s. He went to work with National Lampoon in 1973, becoming the humor magazine’s editor in chief five years later.
The author of more than 20 books, he was Rolling Stone’s foreign-affairs desk chief for 15 years, before going on to write for publications including Playboy, Car & Driver and the American Spectator.
Colleagues and fans across the political spectrum honored Mr. O’Rourke on social media Tuesday, quoting his work and commenting on his intellect and warmth.
Peter Sagal, the host of “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”, said in a series of tweets, “It is very rare in life to be a fan of someone and then become their friend, but it happened to me with PJ.”
“He was a deeply kind and generous man who pretended to be a curmudgeon for public consumption,” Mr. Sagal wrote. “He told the best stories. He had the most remarkable friends. And he devoted himself to them and his family in a way that would have totally ruined his shtick had anyone ever found out.”
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