I first met Robert Novak in 1960 when I was the Houston campaign manager for John Tower, who was running in Texas against Lyndon Johnson for the U.S. Senate. Novak was working for the Wall Street Journal out of Dallas and called one September afternoon and asked me to arrange a meeting with Tower.
After arranging the meeting, I went to pick up Novak at the Shamrock Hotel in Houston, and then drove him 50 miles to Galveston where Tower was campaigning.
Tower lost that November, but won the special election in 1961 to fill Johnson's vacant Senate seat and served 24 years in the U.S. Senate. Novak went on to co-edit with Rowland Evans the Evans-Novak Political Report, a newspaper column that spanned more than four decades. In the very beginning when Novak began his column in the early 60s, it was to the left-of-center. Yet over the years, Novak gradually moved to the right and became a reliable conservative journalist.
Novak's skill, work ethic, ability and integrity are traits few other journalists possess today. He belonged to a rare breed of journalists seldom seen in the 21st Century, which is why his death will be a great loss to newsrooms, political institutions and America.
American political journalism has lost a giant, and freedom has lost an important ally.
Rest in peace, my friend.
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