(BALTIMORE SUN) — Jack W. Germond, an irascible columnist and commentator who was a fixture on the American political scene for nearly 50 years, including nearly 20 of them in The Baltimore Sun’s Washington bureau, died shortly after 4 a.m. today of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at his home in Charles Town, W.Va.

He was 85.

“Jack died from the consequences of a life well-lived. He died at his home overlooking his beloved Shenandoah River,” said his wife of 18 years, the former Alice Travis Ruby, who recently stepped down as secretary of the Democratic National Committee.

“Jack was a truly dedicated reporter and had an old-fashioned relationship with politicians. He liked them but that did not prevent him from being critical when they did bad things and behaved badly. That was a trademark of Jack’s,” said Jules Witcover, his longtime writing partner.

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