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Andrew Breitbart, 1969-2012

7:05 PM, Mar 1, 2012 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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On Saturday, Andrew was more contemplative than usual. He was concerned about being away from his family as much as his hectic schedule seemed to require. The blessing of a career like the one Andrew had is that he could make his own schedule. He traveled more than a father and husband with a typical 9-to-5 job, but when he was not on the road he often worked from home and got more family time than a normal job would provide. He told me again, as he had literally dozens of times earlier, what a saint his wife Susie was to put up with all of the complications that went along with being his spouse. The balance is difficult for anyone in our profession and Andrew wanted to be sure he was finding the right one. We had barely started that conversation when our pressing schedules made us end it, for good as it turns out.

Andrew brought Samson when he picked me up at LAX several years ago. I stayed at his house, as I did nearly every time I was in Los Angeles, and we woke early the next morning so that Andrew could host Dennis Miller’s radio show. The show was disjointed, hilarious, scattered, irreverent, and fun—all Andrew.

Afterwards, we picked up a 30-pack of Miller Lite and a box full of L.A.’s legendary Zankou Chicken before returning to his house. The group there included, at various times, Dennis Miller’s producer, Christian Bladt; Andrew’s good friend and business partner, Larry Solov; a good friend from his high school, the liberal lawyer who lives across the street; and Michael Flaherty, the head of Walden Media, a film production company. Andrew gave us newcomers a tour of his house—the new sport court in the back for the kids, the multimedia set-up in virtually every room, the custom-made Starbucks bar he’d set up.

We stood around the island in his kitchen that afternoon for hours, talking about big questions—the American Revolution, classical liberal political philosophy, homosexuality and conservatism, preemptive war, and the meaning of life. Andrew led the conversation and asked most of the questions, using those of us who shared many of his views to take the arguments to those who did not.

But it was the end of the conversation that was the first thing I thought of when I finally understood that he had died. It was the first thing that Michael Flaherty, a friend Andrew’s who became one of mine that day, remembered too:

“Fittingly, the last question was about heaven and the afterlife. On this one Andrew just sat back with a smile and listened to a lot of us talk about it from our different faith perspectives, particularly Buddhists and Christians, thrilled to hear different points of view. Little did we know when we wrapped up our conversation on heaven that day, that Andrew would be the first of us to get there and hear those words we all long to hear—'Well done good and faithful servant.'"

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