Robert Novak Dead at 78

Chicago Tribune Staff Writer

Robert Novak died at the age of 78 today after a bout with brain cancer. The longtime newspaper columnist and television commentator was known for his conservative voice and piercing criticism.

In decades of Washington reporting and opinion-shaping, Novak established a syndicated newspaper column before becoming a regular commentator on national cable television.

Novak was a news-breaker, too: He was the first to report the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA operative, after her husband, ambassador Joseph Wilson, publicly criticized the administration of President George W. Bush for alleged manipulation of pre-war intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. The federal investigation of the administration's leak of Plame's identify resulted in the conviction of then-Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter'' Libby, for obstruction of justice.In recent years, Novak had become well-known as an outspoken political commentator as co-host of the political talk show, Crossfire, on CNN, where he reigned from 1980 to 2005. He was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in July 2008, but continued to report and write. For the full Robert Novak obituary, click here.

Click here for more information on brain tumors and brain cancer.

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