Tony Snow Dead at 53, DeBakey Dead at 99

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Life is short. He struggled against colon cancer and lost the fight.

Tony’s humor and humanity stood out in whatever role he played. I delighted in his sparring with the press when he was Press Secretary. I delighted in his sparring with politicians in his role at FOX. He just seemed like a smart, dedicated, nice guy.

Michelle Malkin says:

He was a true mensch, multi-talented-and one of the kindest people I had the honor to meet in the news business.

Even a long, meaningful life is short. Yesterday, surgeon Michael Ellis DeBakey also died. He is the father of modern cardiovascular surgery:

He remained vigorous and was a player in medicine well into his 90s, performing surgeries, traveling and publishing articles in scientific journals. His large hands were steady, his hearing sharp. His personal health regimen included taking the stairs at work and a single cup of coffee in the morning.

DeBakey’s death was mourned Friday night by the leaders of Methodist and Baylor. Methodist President Ron Girotto said, “He has improved the human condition and touched the lives of generations to come. We will greatly miss him.” And Baylor President Dr. Peter Traber added that “he set a standard for preeminence in all areas of his life that those who knew him and worked with him are compelled to emulate. And he served as a very visible reminder of the importance of leadership and giving back to ones community.”

It occurs to me that both of these men shared a trait: recognition that time is short and impatience with those intent on wasting it:

”He’s not hard to work with if things are done right,” said Noon, DeBakey’s colleague of more than three decades, in a 1995 interview. ”He was hard on people who slacked off or made mistakes. But he was so busy. He had to depend on people, and he could be tough. But he was always tough for a reason.”

Tough, impatient, perfectionistic, driven, curious, kind, smart. Good traits to be remembered for.

R.I.P. Tony and Dr. DeBakey.

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