The graceful greatness of conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer was revealed in his farewell, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said Friday in an on-air tribute to the conservative legend.
Krauthammer, 68, revealed earlier Friday that he was dying of cancer and had only weeks to live. Although he became a quadriplegic more than 40 years ago after a diving accident, Krauthammer achieved fame as a voice for conservative principles and policies.
“I leave this life with no regrets,” Krauthammer wrote in his farewell letter, according to Fox News. “It was a wonderful life — full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”
Wallace, the anchor for “Fox News Sunday,” shared his thoughts about Krauthammer.
“As he discovered, to his shock, the cancer had returned and … he talks about ‘the final verdict is in, my fight is over’ and finally when he says that ‘I leave this life with no regret,’ it is such quintessential Charles Krauthammer,” Wallace said. “It is so graceful, it is so honest, it is so brave.”
Wallace said he knew of Krauthammer’s diagnosis about 10 days before the commentator made the news public.
In his on-air tribute, he noted that Krauthammer never let the tragedy that took away the use of his arms and legs stop him from making an impact on society.
“I never, in all the years I knew Charles ever heard him express any sense of pity, ‘why me,’” Wallace said. “He led his life fully, vibrantly. Yes, he was very badly disabled. No use of his legs. Almost no use of his hands. And yet he lived a full life.”
Although Krauthammer was a conservative, he was never pigeonholed into any one political camp.
“I think the thing that I … admire most about Charles, though, is that in a world in which we all, there’s a tendency to fall into tribes, you’re in this camp or this camp, Charles’ camp was his honesty, his values, his conviction,” Wallace said. “He could be lacerating in going after the excesses of liberalism, he could be just as tough going after the betrayals of his conservatism.”
Wallace ended his tribute with a message to his colleague.
“Charles, if you’re out there, if you’re watching this with your beloved wife Robin and your dear son Daniel who I know have been such a support to you in so many ways, I want you to know that I love you … and feel so honored to consider myself a colleague of yours,” he said. “You are a great man.”
Wallace was not alone in honoring Krauthammer. In The Washington Post, columnist Kathleen Parker said her goodbye.
“This is how I’ll always remember you, Charles, if you’re reading this — as the smartest, handsomest, most dignified gentleman and scholar ever to wield a pen in the pursuit of truth and right ideas,” she wrote. “It is incomprehensible that you are soon to leave us, but I’m not at all surprised that God would need a good shrink.”
In his farewell letter, Krauthammer summed up why he left life with a feeling that his time on Earth had been worthwhile.
“I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking,” Krauthammer wrote, according to NPR. “I am grateful to have played a small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny.”