‘Dire Prognosis’ Forces Robert Novak’s Resignation

By Mimi Li, Epoch Times
August 4, 2008 Updated: October 1, 2015

OUT: Columnist Robert Novak leaves a U.S. District Court after he testified for the I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby trial on February 12, 2007 in Washington, DC. Novak retired yesterday a week after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
OUT: Columnist Robert Novak leaves a U.S. District Court after he testified for the I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby trial on February 12, 2007 in Washington, DC. Novak retired yesterday a week after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NEW YORK—Chicago Sun-Times political columnist Robert Novak's 45-year nationally syndicated political column, the longest-running column of the sort, will come to an end. Novak announced his retirement effective immediately after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Novak, best known for exposing the cover of CIA Agent Valerie Plame in 2003, was diagnosed with the tumor a week ago. He said then that he would be “suspending [his] journalistic work for an indefinite but, God willing, not too lengthy period [of time],” but with his recent “dire” prognosis, he decided that he would have to give up journalism for good.

"The details are being worked out with the doctors this week, but the tentative plan is for radiation and chemotherapy," Novak said via the Chicago Sun-Times. Novak and his co-columnist Rowland Evans have been syndicated by the Sun-Times since 1966. From 1963 to 1966, the Evans-Novak Political Report was with the New York Herald-Tribune. Evans passed away seven years ago in 2001.

On August 4, 2005, Novak cursed on a live taping of CNN's Inside Politics and stormed off the set while debating with Democratic analyst James Carville. He was subsequently suspended for a day by CNN, and then voluntarily left after 25 years of commentator work with the network.

Novak is well-known for priding himself on his persistence and longevity in the journalism world. The announcement came as a shock to those that really knew him, since in a May 15th Washington Post piece, Novak went as far as to declare his wish to “die in the saddle without retiring.”

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