Longtime journalist and contributor to Counter-Punch, The Nation and Common Dreams, Alexander Cockburn has died at the age of 71. Co-editor Jeffrey St. Clair published a column on Saturday morning to remember Cockburn and to express his grief at losing a good friend.

"Our friend and comrade Alexander Cockburn died last night in Germany, after a fierce two-year long battle against cancer," St. Clair wrote. "His daughter Daisy was at his bedside."

Cockburn reportedly did his best to keep his illness a secret. According to St. Clair, the journalist did not want to "blog his own death as Christopher Hitchens had done." Cockburn fiercely protected his privacy and continued to write.

St. Clair reported, "Amid the chemo and blood transfusions and painkillers, Alex turned out not only columns for CounterPunch and The Nation and First Post, but he also wrote a small book called Guillotine and finished his memoirs, A Colossal Wreck, both of which CounterPunch plans to publish over the course of the next year."

Cockburn authored the books Corruptions of Empire, Five Days that Shook the World, Washington Babylon and more.

(image via Flickr Commons user Bob Doren)