Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart is dead, according to a post on his Big Journalism website published Thursday morning.
Raw Story was not immediately able to obtain independent confirmation of Breitbart’s death, but Big Journalism editor Joel Pollak said in an email: “It is, sadly, true. There isn’t much more to say.”
Shortly after news broke, ABC News reporter Katie Bosland was first to get confirmation from the Los Angeles coroner’s office.
“We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior,” the Big Journalism announcement reads. “Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love.”
Breitbart was a conservative political commentator and website operator who played a key role in founding both The Huffington Post and The Drudge Report. He was also a frequent contributor to Fox News, and a media prankster whose antics drew the ire of many professional journalists. Largely due to his reputation, some reporters appeared hesitant to repeat word of his death out of fear that it may have been a hoax.
Despite his occasionally misanthropic nature, Breitbart was a force to be reckoned with in the conservative media. He helped take down Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) after the congressman accidentally published a photo of his genitals on the social network Twitter, and a deceptively edited video he released got a U.S. Department of Agriculture employee fired in 2010. The woman later sued him for libel, and the case was ongoing at the time of his death.
Breitbart passed away at the UCLA Medical Center some time after midnight Thursday. He was 43.
It is not clear what caused Breitbart’s death, although Big Journalism attributed it to “natural causes.”