William Safire

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William Lewis Safire (December 17, 1929 – September 27, 2009) was a columnist, speech-writer novelist and linguist. He won the Pulitzer Prize and a large audience for his conservative interpretations of the current events.

Safire, a Republican and self-described practitioner of "libertarian-conservatism",[1] was most widely known among conservatives as the "token conservative" columnist for the New York Times, mainly because he was the only regular columnist who was right-of-center.[2]

In 1968 after working in the Nixon presidential campaign, Safire became a Special Assistant to President Nixon and joined a White House speech-writing team that included Patrick J. Buchanan and Raymond K. Price. Mr. Safire wrote many of Nixon's speeches on the economy and Vietnam. He also won notoriety as a contributing word-smith for former Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew, who along with Buchanan wrote many of the more confrontational Agnew speeches aimed at the MSM.

From 1972 to 2005 his political column appeared on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times. From 1979 to 2009 Safire wrote the weekly "On Language" column in The New York Times Magazine, which traced the meaning and origins of current political catch phrases. His dictionaries and usage books provided a comprehensive history of American political speech and a guide to good usage.


  • Pulitzer Prize, 1978 [3]


  • The Relations Explosion: The Coming Boom and Shakeout in Corporate Relations (1963)
  • Before the Fall: An Inside View of the Pre-Watergate White House (1975)
  • Full Disclosure (1977, novel)
  • Safire's Political Dictionary (1978; multiple editions)
  • William Safire on Language (1980)
  • Safire's Washington (1980)
  • What's the Good Word? (1982)
  • I Stand Corrected: More on Language (1984)
  • Take My Word for It (1986)
  • Freedom: A Novel of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War (1987)
  • You Could Look It Up: More on Language from William Safire (1988)
  • Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage (1990)
  • Language Maven Strikes Again (1990)
  • Coming To Terms (1991)
  • The First Dissident: The Book of Job In Today's Politics (1992)
  • Old Books Have a Future (1993)
  • Quoth the Maven: More on Language from William Safire (1993)
  • In Love with Norma Loquendi (1994)
  • Sleeper Spy: A Novel of Deception (1995, novel)
  • Watching My Language: Adventures in the Word Trade (1997)
  • Spread the Word (1999)
  • Scandalmonger (2000, novel)
  • The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time (2004)[5]



  1. http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1926424,00.html
  2. http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/s/william_safire/index.html
  3. https://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,556185,00.html
  4. http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/s/william_safire/index.html
  5. http://www.nndb.com/people/317/000023248/