Thursday, January 18, 2007

Baruch Dayan Ha-Emet - Art Buchwald, 1926 - 2007

"I'm Art Buchwald and I just died"

Yes, Art Buchwald died today. A Pulitzer Prize columnist, he was one of the great political satirists of the 20th century. "Being funny," he said, "is the best revenge."

As remarkable as he was in life, he will also be remembered for the manner in which he faced his death. With his health failing--a lost of his leg due to complications with diabetes; kidney failure that forced him into a 15 hour a week regimen of dialysis--he chose last March to stop his dialysis treatment. He entered hospice, told by his doctors that he would be gone within a month. Five months later, still alive with his mental acumen intact, he was able to go home to spend his remaining days as he wished. He spent his dying time the same way he spent the majority of his years alive, writing about the experience.

In a NY Times website feature, "The Last Word," people the Times deems noteworthy get the opportunity to give some parting words to the world, creating their own video obituary. We can all be grateful they included Art Buchwald. I encourage you to view his piece, which you can find here. One of my favorite moments is when Buchwald talks about Nixon. While Buchwald is grateful for the huge amount of money he made writing about Nixon, he admits that his "biggest hurt to this day" was not being included in Nixon's Enemies List.

Zichrono l'vracha - He left us many of his memories, and we are blessed.

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