Creators Syndicate Mourns Novak

By: E&P Staff Creators Syndicate mourned the death of syndicated columnist Robert Novak Tuesday, with President Rick Newcombe calling him "one of the kindest men I have ever known."

Robert Novak died Tuesday morning at his home in Illinois. He had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in the summer of 2008.

Creators Syndicate had distributed Novak's columns since 1989, when Novak was still partnered with Rowland Evans. Novak continued to write the column, "Inside Report," for Creators Syndicate after Evans' retirement in 1993. After being diagnosed with cancer, Novak retired from the print column but continued to write exclusively for

"Robert D. Novak was a great writer, an unrivaled political mind and a good friend," said Newcombe in a statement. "He had the uncanny ability to root out the truth behind the smoke and mirrors. He was an old-school journalist who made a name for himself through the sheer force of will and a relentless commitment to his craft. He just loved his work."

In all, Novak's columns appeared in one version for another for 46 consecutive years, making him the third-longest running political columnist in America, according to Creators.

"Bob and I initially worked together from 1984 until 1987, and we grew very close," Newcombe added. "He encouraged me to start Creators Syndicate, and he joined us the minute his contract was up. He helped us attract many other successful syndicated columnists over the years."

"Inside Report with Evans and Novak" began life in 1963 at the New York Herald-Tribune. After that paper folded in 1966, the duo moved to the Chicago Sun-Times, where Novak remained for the rest of his print career.

Among younger readers, Novak became most well-known for his role in the Valerie Plame scandal, which resulted in former Vice-President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby serving 30 months in prison on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

"He thought the harsh media treatment of his Valerie Plame column was totally unfair, and during and after the Scooter Libby trial was the first time he ever talked about wanting to retire," Newcombe stated. "He said he was considering 'getting out of this business because Washington has changed so much.'"


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