According to former Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, he was “without peer in 20th century social commentary and political insight.”
Tom Wolfe called him “full of dazzling surprises.”
Ben Stein termed him “infuriating, provocative, hilarious, clear-minded, articulate.”
To a WorldNetDaily editor who worked with him, he was “a gifted commentator of unusual insight and wit.”
Richard Grenier died quietly Wednesday evening, apparently of heart failure. The 68-year-old was recuperating from some nagging health problems, Cynthia Grenier, his wife of more than 40 years, reported.
“It was a wonderful life,” she told WorldNetDaily, choking back tears.
“He was not just a great writer,” said Ken Hanner, national editor of the Washington Times, “he was an extraordinarily colorful person. He was really plugged into the Washington scene and knew everyone. He always had great stories to tell.”
Robert Morton, editor of WorldTribune.com and former corporate editor of the Washington Times, remarked, “Richard never lost the burning curiosity and youthful exuberance of a cub reporter. But he was also that rarity among modern ‘journalists’ – a true intellectual.”
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Grenier hailed from Boston. He served in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets, did graduate work at Harvard, studied at the Institut des Sciences Politiques in Paris and had careers as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, as a movie screenwriter, as a novelist and as cultural correspondent for The New York Times.
He spent much of his life in London, Madrid and Paris and lived and wrote from his home in Washington during the last decade and a half of his life. His columns appeared regularly for years in the Washington Times and, more recently, in WorldNetDaily.
“Richard Grenier’s natural curiosity was like a beacon guiding him throughout a distinguished writing career,” said Mary Lou Forbes, editor of the Washington Times Commentary pages. “Unfolding world events came into clearer focus through the insightful and challenging columns he produced for the Commentary pages.”
“The Marrakesh One-Two” was his most recent novel, and “Capturing the Culture – Film, Art and Politics” was his latest collection of essays.
His wife, Cynthia, also wrote a column for WorldNetDaily and briefly served as commentary editor.
Details about the funeral at Arlington National Cemetery are pending.