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July 14, 2008

Tony Snow Loses Battle with Cancer

From Fox to the White House

Los Angeles, CA - Tony Snow, the former White House press secretary and Fox News Channel anchor, died Saturday at Georgetown University Hospital. Snow, who was 53, had been battling colon cancer for several years.

Snow spent 17 months as spokesman for President George W. Bush and was known for his lively exchanges with reporters, the ranks of whom he had once been a member. He left the White House to take a position as commentator with CNN, citing a need to earn more than his government salary.

Robert Anthony Snow was born in Berea, Ky., on June 1, 1955, and grew up in Cincinnati. After graduating from Davidson College in 1977, he spent his early career in print journalism, writing editorials. He eventually became editorial page editor of The Washington Times.

In 1991, he joined the George H.W. Bush administration as a speechwriter. During the Clinton administration, he returned to journalism, and in 1996 became the first host of Fox News Sunday, a position he held until 2003. He was the host of a Fox News radio show when he was recruited by the current presidential administration to replace Scott McClellan as press secretary.

Colon cancer, which claimed his mother’s life when he was 17, had been a concern of Snow’s for years. By the time he joined the White House, he had already been treated for it; in 2005 he received a diagnosis of Stage 3 colon cancer, meaning the disease had spread to the lymph nodes but not to other organs. At that time, he underwent surgery to have his colon removed.

When he joined the White House, he said he believed that he had beaten his cancer but knew it could return. The cancer recurred in March 2007, less than a year after Snow began working at the White House job. He underwent surgery again, took five weeks off, and returned. In September 2007 he resigned from his $168,000 a year job — not because of the cancer, he said, but because he wanted to make more money to support his family.

Snow is survived by his wife, Jill Ellen Walker, and their three children.

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