BOSTON (AP) — Two-time Pulitzer winner Anthony Lewis, whose New York Times column championed liberal causes for three decades, died Monday. He was 85.
Lewis worked for 32 years as a columnist for the Times, taking up such causes as free speech, human rights and constitutional law. He won his first Pulitzer in 1955 as a reporter defending a Navy civilian falsely accused of being a communist sympathizer, and he won again in 1963 for reporting on the Supreme Court.
His acclaimed 1964 book, “Gideon’s Trumpet,” told the story of a petty thief whose fight for legal representation led to a landmark Supreme Court decision.
His wife, Margaret Marshall, the former chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, confirmed his death.
from complications from heart and renal failure.
Marshall said Lewis was a humble man who loved vegetable gardening, opera and musicals, and wrote on a manual typewriter until the day he died.
“He loved people,” she said. “He was enthusiastic about so much. Most of all, he loved the rule of law. He was really passionate about that. He had a very high regard for judges and the judicial system. He really thought that was the core value that made the United States so different.”
Lewis saw himself as a defender of decency, respect for law and reason against a tide of religious fundamentalism and extreme nationalism. His columns railed against the Vietnam War, Watergate, apartheid in South Africa and Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza.