William Frank Buckley Jr. (born William Francis Buckley; November 24, 1925 – February 27, 2008) was an American conservative author and commentator. He founded National Review magazine in 1955, which had a major impact in stimulating the conservative movement; hosted 1,429 episodes of the television show Firing Line (1966–1999), where he became known for his transatlantic accent and wide vocabulary; and wrote a nationally syndicated newspaper column along with numerous spy novels.
George H. Nash, a historian of the modern American conservative movement, said Buckley was "arguably the most important public intellectual in the United States in the past half century. For an entire generation, he was the preeminent voice of American conservatism and its first great ecumenical figure." Buckley's primary contribution to politics was a fusion of traditional American political conservatism with laissez-faire economic theory and anti-communism, laying the groundwork for the new American conservatism of presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan, both Republicans. Former Senate Republican leader Bob Dole said "Buckley lighted the fire".
Buckley wrote God and Man at Yale (1951) and more than fifty other books on writing, speaking, history, politics, and sailing, including a series of novels featuring CIA agent Blackford Oakes. Buckley referred to himself as either a libertarian or conservative.He resided in New York City and Stamford, Connecticut. He was a practicing Catholic and regularly attended the Latin Mass.
Born the sixth of ten children in 1925, William Buckley was the son of Aloise Josephine Antonia (Steiner) and William Frank Buckley Sr., a Texas-born lawyer and oil developer.
He received the Presidential Citizens Medal in 1989.
He passed away in 2008.
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