In a heartbreaking letter on Friday, Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer announced he is in a losing battle with cancer, saying doctors estimate he has only weeks to live.
“I have been uncharacteristically silent these past ten months,” he wrote in a farewell addressed to his colleagues, friends, and viewers published by Fox News. “I had thought that silence would soon be coming to an end, but I’m afraid I must tell you now that fate has decided on a different course for me.”
Krauthammer, 68, had a cancerous tumor removed from his abdomen last summer, he said, and believed he was in a winning battle for his health in the months since, until doctors found last week the cancer had returned.
“There was no sign of it as recently as a month ago, which means it is aggressive and spreading rapidly,” he wrote. “My doctors tell me their best estimate is that I have only a few weeks left to live. This is the final verdict. My fight is over.”
Although he was in a diving board accident that left him paralyzed in his first year at Harvard Medical School, Krauthammer graduated in 1975. He had a brief career in psychiatry, before taking a job in the Jimmy Carter administration and later transitioning into journalism. He won a Pulitzer Prize for political commentary in 1985, and was a regular on the Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” before his fight with cancer took him off the air some ten months ago.
“I leave this life with no regrets,” he concludes in his letter. “It was a wonderful life — full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”
Friends and colleagues expressed shock and sadness at the news on Friday.
Fox News' Chris Wallace tells Charles Krauthammer: "I want you to know I love you" pic.twitter.com/qIhpJG0GEl
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 8, 2018
Charles Krauthammer is obviously brilliant, courageous and principled, but what leaps to mind is his boyish joy watching game after game at Nat’s Park. The sweetness of his heart matches the rigor of his intellect.
— David Brooks (@nytdavidbrooks) June 8, 2018
I knew this was coming, but that doesn't lessen the agony of this announcement. Charles Krauthammer is one of the most brilliant, decent, humane, impressive people I have ever had the honor to know, never mind call a friend. I am heartbroken over this. https://t.co/DRC8YoFwN0
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) June 8, 2018
Charles @krauthammer has announced his terminal diagnosis. And I'm too sad to say much else. A dear friend and colleague who has made life so much more exhilarating. https://t.co/n6NuBvaOGx
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) June 8, 2018
In a statement on Friday, Fox News executive chairman Rupert Murdoch characterized Krauthammer as a “guiding star in a turbulent world.”
Charles has been a profound source of personal and intellectual inspiration for all of us at Fox News. His always principled stand on the most important issues of our time has been a guiding star in an often turbulent world, a world that has too many superficial thinkers vulnerable to the ebb and flow of fashion, and a world that, unfortunately, has only one Charles Krauthammer. His words, his ideas, his dignity and his integrity will resonate within our society and within me for many, many years to come.
Read the full letter from Krauthammer here.