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Goodbye, My Friends

January 19, 2016

1977 file photo of Art Buchwald for obit. No info on back of photo as to source, but ran in LATimes in 1977.

“Goodbye, My Friends,” the final column by humorist Art Buchwald, was published by the Washington Post on this date in 2007, two days after his death from kidney failure at 81. “I chose to spend my final days in a hospice,” he wrote, “because it sounded like the most painless way to go, and you don’t have to take a lot of stuff with you.... For some reason my mind keeps turning to food. I know I have not eaten all the eclairs I always wanted.... I am now punishing myself for having passed up so many good things earlier in the trip.” The New York Times also posted a video obituary in which Buchwald said, “Hi. I’m Art Buchwald, and I just died.” Buchwald’s column of liberal-leaning political humor and commentary, which appeared in more than 550 newspapers (beginning in 1951 in the the Paris Herald Tribune), won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1982, and he was the author of more than thirty books, including two novels. During his childhood, he was resident in several orphanages as his parents struggled through the Depression. During World War II, he was in the Marinesand served in the Pacific. “In the Marines, they don’t have much use for humorists,” he later wrote, so “they beat my brains in.”

“If you attack the establishment long enough and hard enough, they will make you a member of it.” —Art Buchwald