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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008, 01:07 GMT
Conservative William Buckley dies
By Vincent Dowd
BBC News, Washington

William F Buckley Jr - 20/07/2004
Mr Buckley is credited with reviving modern American conservatism
One of America's most prolific authors and leading conservatives, William F Buckley, has died at the age of 82.

An editor, columnist and TV host, he also wrote more than 50 books and was for many years a substantial influence on conservative thought.

Mr Buckley was found dead in the study of his home in Stamford, Connecticut, "with his boots on", his son said.

The cause of his death is unknown, but an assistant to Mr Buckley said that he had been suffering from emphysema.

Even those who disliked his politics acknowledged that William Buckley was dedicated to the craft of writing.

While becoming a serious and influential political thinker, he seemed at times to cultivate the manner of an old-fashioned dandy.

Mischief maker

Born in New York to a wealthy family - Catholic and conservative - he attended exclusive schools in America and England.

As a young man he worked briefly for the CIA but he really started to count in US public life when in 1955 he founded National Review magazine.

The magazine did much to give shape to conservative thought in America.

National Review became an influence on Reaganite politics and contributed to the rise of the US neo-conservative movement.

William Buckley was opposed to what he saw as a general trend towards liberalism, yet most liberals found it hard to dislike him personally - he too clearly relished fun and mischief.

From 1966 and for more than three decades he presented the talk show Firing Line on public television.

In his 50s he became a novelist, writing mainly spy stories.

Marking his death, President George W Bush said William F Buckley had influenced a lot of people, including him.

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