Art Buchwald – RIP

19 Jan

Humor Columnnist Art Buchwald passed away on Wednesday at the age of 81. He was a political satirist par excellence and spent most of his career poking fun at politics and politicians in Washinton D.C. I still remember The Hindu syndicating his column every Sunday.

In the end he refused treatment aimed at keeping him alive.

Below is an exerpt of a tribute from the San Francisco Chronicle (full story here):

The political satirist went out with a twist:

“Hi, I’m Art Buchwald and I just died,” he announced with a grin, in a video posted on The New York Times Web site. Buchwald recorded the video interview last summer, to be shown after his death.

Buchwald said his months of dying were the time of his life. Neither he nor his doctors could explain why he kept living so long after he checked into a hospice last February, certain at the time that the end was near. “I have to thank my kidneys,” he told The Associated Press last year.

So, as he did during a half-century career that touched two continents, Buchwald decided to make the most of every last minute.

He held court daily in the parlor of his hospice room as friends streamed in to say goodbye. He resumed his twice-weekly column. When it came time to leave the hospice, he spent the summer at his home on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. He wrote “Too Soon to Say Goodbye,” a book about the experience, and worked book parties in Washington and New York from his wheelchair.

Buchwald said the decision to forgo dialysis and let himself die was liberating. “When you make your choice, then a lot of the stress is gone. Everything is great because you accept that you are the one who made the choice.”

Farewell Art Buchwald. Thanks for the memories.

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3 Responses to “Art Buchwald – RIP”

  1. Murali Partha January 19, 2007 at 4:11 am #

    Vijay,
    Great loss!

    I always get reminded of my late grandfather when I read about Art Buchwald. Not that my grandfather was a humorist. But he was a great fan of Buchwald and introduced me to his columns on The Hindu. I was in middle school and he used to encourage me to read two columns on the last page of “The Hindu”. One was a Philosophical/ Theosophical column another was Art Buchwald. I could never understand what was written in either of these columns back then. But he used to say that in time I would. Unfortunately I never acquired a taste for the Philosophical column.

    But happily I started enjoying Art’s column in time. Back in school, I could not relate to many things he used to write about – many times they were about locale (US) specific incidents that I could not get or appreciate. But yes, Art was the first humor columnist that I started reading. Even though he used to poke fun at anyone and everyone, one always got the feeling that there was something very benign about his outlook – he never would come across as mean. You do not need to be mean to be a satirist!

    Then I got married and I was “encouraged” to forgo my passion for “The Hindu”. You see it does not have enough local Bengalooru news or local sale advertisements.

  2. rk January 19, 2007 at 12:56 pm #

    as kids, i used to draw wherever i found empty spaces. and in the bottom right corner, i wrote “Art RK”.

    when i first saw Buchwald’s columns in my schooldays, i thought he was an artist. i searched for the ART (painting) in the columns but found none. everytime i saw his column, this was the routine. search for the ART…..not there…..curse the newspaper …. later got to know his name was ART BUCHWALD.

    loved his columns in the HINDOO. have several clippings of the same. thanks for the tribute.

    RIP, AB.

  3. Mysorean January 20, 2007 at 6:31 am #

    May his soul rest in peace. He has enlivened so many of my Sundays that I am grateful to him!

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