William F. Buckley, Jr.
William Frank Buckley Jr. (New York City, November 24, 1925 - Stamford, February 27, 2008) was born in a devoutly Roman Catholic family. Buckley was a prominent conservative author and commentator, and the founder of the National Review. He was also host of Firing Line, a talk show featured for years on the otherwise liberal public television. He was admired on both sides of the political spectrum for his seemingly limitless vocabulary, and his intellectual wit.
Son of an oilman who made a fortune in Mexico, Buckley was educated in an English preparatory school as a teenager. He studied Spanish in Mexico City (1943, UNAM) (Buckley's first language had been Spanish, having been raised by Mexican nannies). Buckley graduated from the Millbrook School in New York in 1943, and from Yale College in 1950. His first book exposed the failures of Yale College, "God and Man at Yale" (1951). It detailed what he saw as the collectivist and anti-Christian leanings of America's foremost school.
In 1955 Buckley founded The National Review (NR), a biweekly magazine of political opinion. Ronald Reagan was a longtime subscriber to National Review. Through the magazine he fostered the idea of a conservative movement.
Buckley wrote over 50 books about history, politics and sailing, and a series of spy novels (which featured the fictitious Yale graduate Blackford Oakes) that were consistent best sellers.
Buckley, doing it his way, became one of the most influential writers and journalists of the past century – in the august company of Walter Lippmann, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and George Orwell. The latter two came to symbolize what was at stake in the spiritual and moral struggle against the totalitarian mentality. But Buckley spearheaded the counterrevolution in the West that emboldened Reagan, Thatcher and John Paul II to confront and defeat the Soviet Empire. 
Even friendly biographers do not give him adequate credit in deconstructing liberalism ... Buckley did not elevate conservatism to a major political force simply because he was a charming guy, though that didn’t hurt; but because he laid bare with a penetrating logic the inconsistencies of liberal and leftist thought. 
Buckley liked to go yachting, twice crossing the Atlantic himself, and playing the harpsichord. He married Patricia Alden Austin Taylor in 1950.
Buckley died of a heart attack in 2008.
- National Review Online
- William F. Buckley Jr. on Conservatism: An Interview Bill Steigerwald, Human Events, 11/19/2007
- William F. Buckley Jr. Is Dead at 82, New York Times, 2/27/2008
- Father of Conservative Movement Dies
- Biography by Lee Edwards, Ph.D.