Safire, William L. (săfˈĪrˌ) [key], 1929–2009, American journalist and speechwriter, b. New York City as William Safir. A former reporter and public-relations executive, he became a speechwriter (1968–73) for Richard Nixon during his 1968 presidential campaign and continued in the post in the White House. From 1973 to 2005 his twice-weekly editorial columns in the New York Times provided a consistently conservative and outspoken perspective on American politics; he won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1978. His On Language column (1979–2009) for the New York Times Magazine explored the richness of modern American English and decried abuses of the language. Safire also wrote a number of books on language, a memoir of his time in the White House (1975), and several novels including Scandalmonger (2000).
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