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Conservative Commentator and GOP Press Operative Tony Blankley Dies at 63

(The Blaze/AP) Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the Republican takeover of Congress in the 1990s, has died. He was 63.

Blankley's wife, Lynda Davis, says he died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington. He had been suffering from stomach cancer.

Blankley was an executive vice president with the Edelman public-relations firm in Washington, as well as a visting senior fellow in national-security communications for the Heritage Foundation. Before working for Gingrich from 1990 to 1997, he spent six years in the Reagan administration in a variety of positions, including speechwriter and policy analyst. From 2002 to 2007, he was the editorial page editor of The Washington Times.


Many became familiar with Blankley from his appearances on "The McLaughlin Group," where he was a regular panelist.

Born in London, he moved with his parents to California as a child and became a naturalized American citizen.

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