Tony Blankley

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Tony Blankley
Born Anthony David Blankley
(1948-01-21)January 21, 1948
London, England, UK
Died January 7, 2012(2012-01-07) (aged 63)
Washington, District of Columbia, US
Cause of death Stomach cancer
Residence Great Falls, Virginia
Nationality United States
Education UCLA, B.S. (political science)
Loyola Marymount University, J.D.
University of London, international law certificate
Alma mater Fairfax High School (Los Angeles)[1]
Occupation Public relations executive, newspaper editor, television commentator, radio commentator, prosecutor, child actor
Notable work The West's Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations?, 2005
American Grit: What It Will Take to Survive and Win in the 21st Century, 2009
Home town Los Angeles, California, US
Spouse(s) Lynda Davis, Ph.D., m. ca. 1985, 3 children
Parent(s) Jack Blankley (deceased), Trixie Blankley (deceased; survived her son)
Relatives Maggie Blankley, sister

Anthony David "Tony" Blankley (January 21, 1948 – January 7, 2012) was an American political analyst who gained fame as the press secretary for Newt Gingrich, the first Republican Speaker of the House in forty years, and as a regular panelist on The McLaughlin Group. He later became an Executive Vice President with Edelman public relations in Washington, D.C.[6] He was a Visiting Senior Fellow in National-Security Communications at the Heritage Foundation,[7] a weekly contributor to the nationally syndicated public radio program Left, Right & Center,[8] the author of The West's Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations? and American Grit: What It Will Take to Survive and Win in the 21st Century.[9]

Early Life[edit]

Blankley was briefly a child actor appearing, most notably, as Rod Steiger's son in The Harder They Fall (1956).[10] The movie was, as Blankley liked to joke, both his and his co-star Humphrey Bogart's last movie.[11][12] He graduated from UCLA[13] and Loyola Law School (Los Angeles), earning a J.D.[14] He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1972.[15]


Prior to his career on Capitol Hill, Blankley served President Ronald Reagan as a policy analyst and speechwriter,[14] and was a staff writer for Congresswoman Bobbi Fiedler.[16] Before coming to Washington, D.C., he spent 10 years as a Deputy Attorney General with the California Attorney General's office.[13]

Blankley's political opinions were generally considered to fall within traditional conservatism although he was labeled as a neoconservative by some critics. He denied that label by claiming that his views are more comparable to a classic conservative such as Reagan.[17] His political career spanned several decades, and his most prominent position was a seven-year stint as House Speaker Newt Gingrich's press secretary.[18]

He was a regular commentator for radio shows including The Diane Rehm Show,[19] Left, Right & Center[20] and The Steve Gill Show with a segment titled Fill In the Blanks.[21] Earlier in his career, he was an editorial page editor for The Washington Times,[22] a contributing editor and monthly columnist for George Magazine,[23] and a regular panelist on The McLaughlin Group.

Blankley continued to write for The Washington Times. He lectured at many universities and institutes. On November 19, 2009, he presented his lecture A Year out from the 2010 Congressional Elections – National Politics, Policy and their Communication at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics of Saint Anselm College.[24]


Blankley died in Washington, D.C., of stomach cancer on January 7, 2012, at Sibley Memorial Hospital, two weeks before his 64th birthday.[2][11][25]


  1. ^ Roderick, Kevin. "Tony Blankley, KCRW commentator was 63". LA Observed. Los Angeles. Retrieved 2012-01-09. Blankley went to Fairfax High School here and UCLA, and worked for Bobbi Fielder when she ran for Congress (and won) from the Valley. 
  2. ^ a b Eldridge, David; Jennifer Harper (January 9, 2012). "Tony Blankley, former editorial page editor of Times, dies at 63". Washington Times. pp. A1,A4.  Web version
  3. ^ Langer, Emily; Karen Tumulty (January 9, 2012). "Speechwriter became conservative columnist". Washington Post. p. B4. 
  4. ^ Cathleen Decker (January 9, 2012). "Tony Blankley dies at 63; press secretary to Speaker Newt Gingrich". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  5. ^ "Tony Blankley" (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). The Writers Directory. Detroit, Michigan: St. James Press. 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-09. . Gale Biography In Context. (subscription required)
  6. ^ "Edelman Public Affairs Strategists". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  7. ^ Stimson, Charles. "Heritage Foundation Staff". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  8. ^ "Left, Right and Center". KCRW. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  9. ^ "Book Details – American Grit". Regnery Publishing. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  10. ^ "Tony Blankley's IMDb profile". 
  11. ^ a b Clymer, Adam (January 9, 2012). "Tony Blankley, Gingrich Aide and Columnist, Dies". The New York Times. pp. B8 All other cited sources cite his year of birth as 1948. 
  12. ^ "Tony Blankley". The Daily Telegraph (London). 2012-01-12. 
  13. ^ a b "UCLA Alumni bio". Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  14. ^ a b "Biography". September 30, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  15. ^ "California State Bar Member Records". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  16. ^ Zoroya, Gregg (June 12, 2007). "The Speaker's Speaker from Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  17. ^ "eNotes article on Tony Blankley". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  18. ^ Zoroya, Gregg (June 12, 2007). "Speaker's Speaker". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  19. ^ "Tony Blankley – Regular". WBHM. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  20. ^ "Left, Right & Center". KCRWaccessdate=2012-1-15. 
  21. ^ "Fill In the Blanks". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  22. ^ Follmer, Max (2007-09-17). "Blankley steps down as editorial page editor". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  23. ^ "Steamboat Institute profile of Tony Blankley". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  24. ^ "Events List Saint Anselm College". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  25. ^ "Notice of death of Tony Blankley". FoxNews. January 8, 2012. 

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