William F. Buckley Jr., founder of modern conservative movement, Feb. 27 William F. Buckley Jr., the columnist, novelist, television talk show host and tireless intellectual who founded the modern conservative movement and was its articulate voice for nearly six decades, died on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008, while at work in his study in Stamford, Conn. He was 82. An urbane pundit with a lacerating wit, Buckley was the intellectual heart of American political conservatism in the 1960s and '70s. His ardent friends and admirers came to include a California governor, Ronald Reagan, who sought Buckley's counsel frequently during his campaign and presidency, calling him "perhaps the most influential journalist and intellectual in our era." Buckley also inspired generations of conservatives, who now fill think tanks and write for National Review, the magazine Buckley founded in 1955, along with the Weekly Standard and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. He's shown here at a radio studio in New York during a debate when he was a candidate for city mayor in 1965.
New York Times/ Sam Falk, file