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William F. Buckley, Jr.

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William Frank Buckley, Jr.
William F. Buckley, Jr. in 1985

William Frank Buckley, Jr.[1] (November 24, 1925 – February 27, 2008) was an American conservative author[2] and commentator. He founded the political magazine National Review in 1955, which had a big impact on the American conservative movement. He supported Barry M. Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.


He hosted 1,429 episodes of the television show Firing Line from 1966 until 1999, where he became known for his transatlantic accent and wide vocabulary.[3] He also wrote a nationally syndicated newspaper column, and wrote many spy novels.[4][5]

Personal life

Buckley was born November 24, 1925, in New York City. He was of Irish descent. He studied at Beaumont College. In 1950, Buckley married Patricia Buckley. They had a son, Christopher.

Buckley died at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, on February 27, 2008. Initially, it was reported that he was found dead at his desk in his study, a converted garage. At the time of his death, he had been suffering from emphysema and diabetes.[5] His cause of death was soon ruled as emphysema.


  1. "William Francis" in the editorial obituary "Up From Liberalism" The Wall Street Journal February 28, 2008, p. A16; Martin, Douglas, "William F. Buckley Jr., 82, Dies; Sesquipedalian Spark of Right", obituary, New York Times, February 28, 2008, which reported that his parents preferred "Frank", which would make him a "Jr.", but at his christening, the priest "insisted on a saint's name, so Francis was chosen. When the younger William Buckley was 5, he asked to change his middle name to Frank and his parents agreed. At that point, he became William F. Buckley Jr. ."
  2. Italie, Hillel via Associated Press. "Conservative Author Buckley Dead at 82" San Francisco Chronicle, February 27, 2008. Accessed January 18, 2009.
  3. The Wall Street Journal February 28, 2008, p. A16
  4. For complete, searchable texts see Buckley Online.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Douglas Martin (February 27, 2008). "William F. Buckley Jr. Is Dead at 82". New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2008. 

Other websites

Media related to William F. Buckley, Jr. at Wikimedia Commons