There are hardly words adequate to describe the brilliance, good heart, and incredible example of FOX News contributor and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer, nor to express how deeply saddened we are at the news he now shares with us.
In a letter read on-air by his colleagues at FOX News, Krauthammer reveals that after cancer surgery and almost a year of treatment and slow recovery, he was knocked back again with the news that his cancer has suddenly returned, very aggressively, and that his doctors give him only a few more weeks. He had anticipated getting back to his work but now says that “fate has decided on a different course for me.”
The letter reminds me a little of the heartfelt one President Reagan wrote to the nation after receiving his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. “I leave this life with no regrets,” Krauthammer says. “It was a wonderful life --- full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”
His appearances were always a highlight of Bret Baier’s “Special Report,” so much so that Baier was able to get approval from the higher-ups to have him on “the panel” every night. Everyone –- colleagues and viewers alike –- had been missing him greatly and hoping for his eventual return. But Charles is as much of a realist about this as he has had to be about other things, saying, “This is the final verdict. My fight is over.”
He has coped with hard realities ever since, at the age of 22, a dive to the bottom of a swimming pool broke his neck and took most of his ability to move. It almost took his life as well, but the Harvard medical student persevered and not only graduated but went on to become chief psychiatry resident at Massachusetts General Hospital and later to enter the world of politics as a speechwriter and then a columnist and on-air commentator. (That world certainly needs the counsel of a good psychiatrist, but I digress.) For the fascinating story and a deeper understanding of his life and philosophy, be sure to read his book THINGS THAT MATTER.
It would be hard to find anyone else with such a huge intellect and such a small ego. In these times, we can benefit from his keen observations more than ever, so it’s fortunate they are recorded for posterity. As he says in his letter, “I am grateful to have played a small part in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny.” We’re grateful for that, too. Let’s keep him in our prayers and our thoughts, remember his example always, and be thankful for his wise words over the years.