Legendary journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave, who died Sunday at the age of 88, was an extraordinary newsman who always told it like it was, said Christopher Ruddy, founder and CEO of Newsmax Media.
"The world, America, is at a loss with the passing of Arnaud de Borchgrave this weekend," Ruddy said Monday on Newsmax TV
on "The Steve Malzberg Show."
"He lived a very long life … and had an incredible career over many, many decades."
The Belgian-born journalist was an award-winning editor, war correspondent, and best-selling author who served as executive director of the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington, D.C.
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He was a founding board member of Newsmax Media, an editor-at-large for United Press International, and served as Newsweek's senior editor and chief foreign correspondent for 25 years.
"His family had fled occupied Nazi Belgium, escaped — of the few that did escape – the Holocaust, and after that war he realized he had to commit himself to a bigger purpose and he went into journalism," Ruddy said.
"He covered 17 wars as a war correspondent, met some of the great figures of our time, of the 20th century. Charles de Gaulle, Winston Churchill, and he was very close with Ronald Reagan."
Ruddy said he was well aware of de Borchgrave’s reputation before he started Newsmax.
"I first met him actually when I was about 20 years of age. I was visiting my sister in West Palm Beach and I saw an ad in the newspaper … that he was going to be speaking for a local luncheon group," Ruddy recalled.
"I showed up and they had a marching band introduce him. And I thought, wow, how many journalists have marching bands introduce them?
"He was very riveting and I got to know him a little better in the '90s as I became a journalist and then I asked him to join the board of Newsmax . He was a close friend and I remain a close friend to his wife, his beautiful wife, Alexandra."
As a journalist, de Borchgrave was a realist who called it as he saw it.
"He wasn't totally in favor of the Iraq invasion because he didn't know if we had a strategy after that," Ruddy said.
"He once said after 9/11, and it's a statement that keeps resonating in my brain, he said we did not declare war on Islam, radical Islam declared war on us. He really believed in having a multi-pronged strategy in dealing with radical Islam."
Ruddy said de Borchgrave, who had a long illness, is "in a better place" now, but will be sorely missed.
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