The fiery online publisher and blogger who collapsed and died Thursday at 43 relished public combat with liberals — a YouTube clip last month shows him bellowing at Occupy Wall Street protesters, “Stop raping people, you freaks!” Yet the conservatives and tea party activists who loved him said he exposed corrupt leaders and what he called the hopelessly liberal “old media guard.”
The converted Hollywood lefty who partied his way through Tulane University was also a soft-spoken father of four. The conservative warrior chose to live on enemy turf, Brentwood, the tony Los Angeles enclave favored by the Hollywood elite he so often mocked.
Breitbart’s father-in-law told the Associated Press that Breitbart was walking near his house when he collapsed. Someone saw him fall and called 911. Breitbart was taken to UCLA Medical Center, but could not be revived.
“We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior,” the post said. “Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love.”
Breitbart came to be well-known for his work with the Drudge Report (he also played an early role with The Huffington Post), and would go on to found the Big Journalism, Big Hollywood and Breitbart.com websites. He was also an author, columnist and ubiquitous commentator in the media.
Liberal media watchdog Media Matters issued a statement. “We’ve disagreed more than we’ve found common ground, but there was never any question of Andrew’s passion for and commitment to what he believed,” the group said.