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Robert Novak

Robert Novak Retires After a Grim Brain Tumor Prognosis

August 04, 2008 02:54 PM
by Josh Katz
Conservative columnist Robert Novak announced his retirement from the Chicago Sun-Times today, a week after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

30-Second Summary

Last week, before Novak received the results of his biopsy, he said he would suspend his work for an indefinite period of time. He now says that the prognosis is “dire.” 

“The details are being worked out with the doctors this week, but the tentative plan is for radiation and chemotherapy,” Novak said.

Novak was with his family near Cape Cod, Mass., on Sunday when he fell ill, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital later revealed that he had a brain tumor. Novak had a biopsy last Monday to determine whether the tumor was malignant or benign.

On Wednesday, July 23 Novak was also in the news for hitting a pedestrian in Washington, D.C., and driving away. But Novak said he was unaware of what had happened until a bicyclist alerted him to it. It is unclear if the incident last week is related to the tumor.

The conservative columnist and television commentator also made headlines during the Valerie Plame affair. In 2003, he was the first person to expose Plame as a CIA operative; officials in the Bush administration had sought to tarnish the reputation of her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, who spoke out against the war in Iraq.

Novak has written one of the longest-running syndicated columns in the United States, appearing in the Chicago-Sun Times. Upon the 45th anniversary of his column, which was originally cowritten with Rowland Evans, Novak wrote, “I cannot write a column without reporting, and I hope I can continue to do so and newspapers see fit to print me so that I can celebrate my 50th anniversary.”

Headline Links: Novak retires after ‘dire’ biopsy results

Background: Novak hits pedestrian

Key Player: Robert Novak (1931–)

Related Topics: The Valerie Plame case; Novak’s aspirations


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