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Conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart, 43, dies; 'A great loss,' says GOProud co-founder LaSalvia

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Internet publisher Andrew Breitbart, 43, died suddenly early Thursday, according to his website.

Breitbart was walking near his house in the Brentwood neighborhood on Thursday, shortly after midnight, when he collapsed, said his father-in-law, Orson Bean, a movie, TV and Broadway actor.

Someone saw Breitbart fall and called paramedics, who tried to revive him. They rushed him to the emergency room at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Breitbart had suffered heart problems a year earlier, but Bean said he could not pinpoint what happened.

"I don't know what to say. It's devastating," Bean told The Associated Press.

Three months ago, Breitbart resigned from the advisory council of GOProud after the conservative gay group's co-founders Jimmy LaSalvia and Christopher R. Barron sent out tweets that outed Miami Beach's Tony Fabrizio, a pollster-strategist for Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

"When he resigned from our advisory council, it was not with bad feelings it was a situation in which he felt an official role with us was something he didn't' want," LaSalvia told The Miami Herald Thursday morning. "All the folks who work on Andrew's team are very supportive of us. my heart goes out to them because personally they've suffered a great loss. I hope they can keep Andrew's dream alive and all his important work."

Said LaSalvia: "Even before GOProud, he was an advocate for gay conservatives, always."

GOProud released this statement about Breitbart's death:

(Washington, D.C.) – This morning, it was announced that conservative media mogul Andrew Breitbart had passed away. In response Christopher R. Barron and Jimmy LaSalvia, Co-Founders of GOProud – an organization of gay and straight Americans seeking to promote freedom by supporting free markets, limited government, and a respect for individual rights –released the following joint statement:

“We are stunned and saddened at the passing of Andrew Breitbart – a real hero of the conservative movement. Andrew was an amazing friend and ally to this organization. When we faced some of our toughest days, it was Andrew who was willing to come to our aide and fight for us and for what was right. We wouldn’t be the organization we are today without the help of Andrew Breitbart.

“On a personal level, we want to express our deepest condolences to Andrew’s family and friends. They are in our thoughts and in our prayers.”

Breitbart became nationally famous when his website biggovernment.com posted a lewd photograph of an underwear-clad crotch and said it had been sent from Rep. Anthony Weiner's Twitter account to a Seattle woman.

Weiner at first denied being the man in the photo, but later admitted it was him and resigned from Congress.

Breitbart is survived by his wife, Susannah Bean Breitbart, and four children.

This report was supplemented by material from The Associated Press.

Here's the official announcement of Breitbart's death from his website:

imageWith a terrible feeling of pain and loss we announce the passing of Andrew Breitbart.

Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles.

We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior.

Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love.

Andrew recently wrote a new conclusion to his book, Righteous Indignation:

I love my job. I love fighting for what I believe in. I love having fun while doing it. I love reporting stories that the Complex refuses to report. I love fighting back, I love finding allies, and—famously—I enjoy making enemies.

Three years ago, I was mostly a behind-the-scenes guy who linked to stuff on a very popular website. I always wondered what it would be like to enter the public realm to fight for what I believe in. I’ve lost friends, perhaps dozens. But I’ve gained hundreds, thousands—who knows?—of allies. At the end of the day, I can look at myself in the mirror, and I sleep very well at night.

Andrew is at rest, yet the happy warrior lives on, in each of us.

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It is a great loss for the conservative community. I met Andrew at Presidency 5 in Orlando and he was truly kind, witty and friendly. He believed in the Big Tent philosophy and found there was room for everyone within the conservative movement. My sympathies to his family, friends, coworkers and fans.

He really was one of the good guys
bright, attractive, very funny
we will miss him

Changing the meaning of the term "gay" was fun.
Changing the meaning of the term "marriage" is imperative.
Changing the meaning of the term "conservative" will be self-distructive.
Can someone please explain to me how can anyone justify being gay AND conservative, as defined by the Republican Party? I have tried to understand this state of total denial. Maybe the term "conservative" is a misnomer; maybe they mean commonsensible or practical; but conservative? I just don't understand it.

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