William Safire

William Safire Biography.com

Journalist(1929–2009)
William Safire was a writer whose column "On Language" was a long-running feature of The New York Times Magazine.

Synopsis

Born in New York City in 1929, William Safire spent his early career as a speechwriter and public relations writer, also working as a special assistant to President Richard Nixon. He joined The New York Times as a Washington-based columnist in 1973 and won a 1978 Pulitzer Prize for his commentary. Safire also wrote the long-running column "On Language" for The New York Times Magazine, as well as four novels and numerous books on writing and language. He died in Maryland 2009.

Career Highlights

Born on December 17, 1929, in New York City, William Lewis Safire is perhaps best known for his famous New York Times Magazine column, "On Language."

A former speechwriter and public relations writer, and special assistant to President Richard Nixon, William Safire joined The New York Times as a Washington-based columnist in 1973. He won a 1978 Pulitzer Prize for his commentary.

William Safire wrote numerous books on writing and language, including How Not to Write: The Essential Misrules of Grammar (2005). Delving into fiction, he wrote four novels: Full Disclosure (1977), Freedom (1987), Sleeper Spy (1995) and Scandalmonger (2000).

Final Years

In his later years, Safire lived near Washington, D.C., with his wife.

After a long struggle with pancreatic cancer, Safire died on September 27, 2009, at the age of 79, in Rockville, Maryland. He was survived by his wife, Helene; their children, Mark and Annabel; and a granddaughter.

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