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Columnist, wordsmith James Kilpatrick dies at 89

Aug 16, 2010 12:37:00 PM - thestate.com
James J. Kilpatrick, who rose from cub reporter to become one of the South's most prominent newspaper editors and the nation's most widely syndicated political columnist, has died. He was 89.

Kilpatrick's wife, Marianne Means, said he died Sunday night at George Washington University Hospital. Means said he was being treated for congestive heart failure.

TV watchers in the 1970s knew Kilpatrick as the conservative half of the "Point-Counterpoint" segment of the CBS "60 Minutes." His sparring with liberal commentator Shana Alexander was famously parodied on "Saturday Night Live."

Means, also a former journalist, described him as "a great family man" and a cultural icon of his era.

"He was a wonderful human being," said Means, 76. "He cultivated a public image on TV of being a cranky conservative ... but he wasn't a cranky conservative at home."