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, U.S.
Spouse(s) Lynda Davis (ca. 1985–2012; his death)
Children 3
Parent(s) Jack and Trixie Blankley (both deceased; Trixie 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 programme 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] He served as the editorial page editor for The Washington Times from 2002-2009.[10]

Early life[edit]

Blankley was briefly a child actor appearing, most notably, as Rod Steiger's son in The Harder They Fall (1956).[11] The movie was, as Blankley liked to joke, both his and his co-star Humphrey Bogart's last movie.[12][13] He graduated from UCLA[14] and Loyola Law School (Los Angeles), earning a J.D.[15] He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1972.[16]


Prior to his career on Capitol Hill, Blankley served President Ronald Reagan as a policy analyst and speechwriter,[15] and was a staff writer for Congresswoman Bobbi Fiedler.[17]

Before coming to Washington, D.C., he spent 10 years as a Deputy Attorney General with the California Attorney General's office.[14]

His political opinions were generally considered to fall within traditional conservatism although he was labeled as a neoconservative by some critics. He denied that label, claiming that his views are more comparable to a classic conservative such as Reagan.[18] His political career spanned several decades, and his most prominent position was a seven-year stint as House Speaker Newt Gingrich's press secretary.[19]

He was a regular commentator for radio shows including The Diane Rehm Show,[20] Left, Right & Center[21] and The Steve Gill Show with a segment titled Fill In the Blanks.[22]

Earlier in his career, Blankley was an editorial page editor for The Washington Times,[23] a contributing editor and monthly columnist for George Magazine,[24] and a regular panelist on The McLaughlin Group. He 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.[25]


Blankley died in Washington, D.C., of stomach cancer on January 7, 2012, at Sibley Memorial Hospital, two weeks before his 64th birthday.[2][12][26]


  1. ^ Roderick, Kevin. "Tony Blankley, KCRW commentator was 63". LA Observed. Los Angeles. Retrieved February 19, 2016. 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 February 19, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Tony Blankley" (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). The Writers Directory. Detroit, Michigan: St. James Press. 2011. Retrieved February 19, 2016. . Gale Biography In Context. (subscription required)
  6. ^ "Edelman Public Affairs Strategists". Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  7. ^ Stimson, Charles. "Heritage Foundation Staff". Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Left, Right and Center". KCRW. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Book Details – American Grit". Regnery Publishing. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  10. ^, The Washington Times. "Tony Blankley, former editorial page editor of The Times, dies at 63". The Washingtion Times. Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Tony Blankley profile/IMDb". 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ "Tony Blankley". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. January 12, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "UCLA Alumni biographies". Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b "Biography". September 30, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  16. ^ "California State Bar Member Records". Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  17. ^ Zoroya, Gregg (June 12, 2007). "The Speaker's Speaker from Los Angeles Times". Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  18. ^ "eNotes article on Tony Blankley". Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  19. ^ Zoroya, Gregg (June 12, 2007). "Speaker's Speaker". Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Tony Blankley – Regular". WBHM. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Left, Right & Center". KCRW. Retrieved January 15, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Fill In the Blanks". Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  23. ^ Follmer, Max (September 17, 2007). "Blankley steps down as editorial page editor". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Steamboat Institute profile of Tony Blankley". Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Events List Saint Anselm College". Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Notice of death of Tony Blankley". FoxNews. January 8, 2012. 

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