Sandy Hume

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Sandy Hume
Born Alexander Britton Hume, Jr.
(1969-09-02)September 2, 1969
Washington D.C.
Died February 22, 1998(1998-02-22) (aged 28)
Arlington, Virginia
Occupation Journalist for The Hill
Notable credit(s) The aborted 1997 coup by Rep. Bill Paxon against House Speaker Newt Gingrich
Family Brit Hume, Clare Jacobs Stoner, Rhoda Kim Schiller Hume (step-mother), Virginia Hume (sister)

Alexander Britton "Sandy" Hume, Jr. (September 2, 1969 - February 22, 1998) was an American journalist. A journalist for The Hill newspaper in Washington, D.C., Hume was the son of Brit Hume, then Fox News Channel's managing editor, and Clare Jacobs Stoner.

Career[edit]

Hume broke the story of the aborted 1997 coup by Rep. Bill Paxon against Speaker Newt Gingrich. Another of the plotters, Majority Leader Dick Armey, scuttled the coup when he learned that Paxon, and not he, would replace Gingrich. Armey later disavowed the whole attempt and claimed not to have been involved.

A few months later, in February 1998, Paxon launched an attempt to unseat Armey from his leadership position. Just days later, Sandy Hume killed himself with a gunshot to the head. After Hume's death, Paxon suddenly and inexplicably resigned his seat and never returned to public life. Almost immediately, rumors began flying around Washington that Paxon had been having an affair with Hume, was his source for the story, and that Armey had threatened to out them. Hence the suicide of Hume and the sudden resignation of Paxon. This theory was common knowledge among many in the D.C. press corps, but it never made it to print in the mainstream media. MSNBC commentator and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough says in his book, Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day, that he was Hume's source and accuses Armey of spreading the rumors to smear Paxon.

Death[edit]

Hume committed suicide in his apartment in Arlington, Virginia. In the months before his death, Hume, an alcoholic, had begun drinking again. The night before his suicide, Hume was jailed for drunk driving and tried to hang himself in the U.S. Park Police jail cell. He was evaluated at a psychiatric facility and released. He went home and took his life with a hunting rifle. He left a long note expressing shame at the previous night's events.[1][2]

Posthumous honors[edit]

The National Press Club honors Hume's memory with the annual Sandy Hume Memorial Award for Excellence in Political Journalism.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tapper, Jake (March 13–19, 1998). "Suicide Watch". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2008-12-31.  (Vol. 18, #11)
  2. ^ Kurtz, Howard (April 19, 2006). "Moving to the Right: Brit Hume's Path Took Him From Liberal Outsider to The Low-Key Voice of Conservatism on Fox News". Washington Post. p. C01. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  3. ^ "National Press Club Journalism Awards" (PDF). National Press Club. p. 2. Retrieved 2009-01-01. Sandy Hume Memorial Award for Excellence in Political Journalism [dead link]