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Fox News’ Charles Krauthammer Says He Has Weeks to Live

WASHINGTON — Charles Krauthammer, the longtime columnist and Fox News commentator, says that his cancer has returned and doctors have said he has only a few weeks left to live.

“This is the final verdict. My fight is over,” he wrote in a statement released on Friday.

Krauthammer wrote that he has been recovering from surgery last year to remove a cancerous tumor in his abdomen, and while he has been “gradually making my way back to health,” recent tests showed that cancer has returned and it is aggressive and spreading rapidly.

He wrote, “I wish to thank my doctors and caregivers, whose efforts have been magnificent. My dear friends, who have given me a lifetime of memories and whose support has sustained me through these difficult months. And all of my partners at The Washington Post, Fox News, and Crown Publishing.

“Lastly, I thank my colleagues, my readers, and my viewers, who have made my career possible and given consequence to my life’s work. I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking. I am grateful to have played a small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny.”

Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of Fox News and 21st Century Fox, said in a statement that Krauthammer “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.”

Krauthammer, 68, has been a columnist at The Washington Post since 1984, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1987, but gained particular fame for nightly commentary on Fox News. He also had stints at The New Republic and Time.

Before pursuing a journalism career, he was a speechwriter for Vice President Walter Mondale in 1980 and, before that, had been in medicine. He worked on psychiatric research for President Jimmy Carter’s administration, and practiced as chief resident in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was paralyzed from a diving accident during his first year at Harvard Medical School.

On Fox News, Chris Wallace said that “in all the years I knew, Charles ever heard him express any sense of pity, why me. He led his life fully, vibrantly. Yes, he was very badly disabled. No use of his legs, almost no use of his hands, and yet he lived a full life. He had a car outfitted so he could drive the streets of Washington. He loved his Washington Nationals. He lived a life of passion and great consequence.”

Wallace also talked about Krauthammer’s “honesty, his values, his conviction. He could be lacerating and going after the excesses of liberalism, he could be just as tough as going after the betrayals of his conservatism.”

In his statement, Krauthammer wrote, “I leave this life with no regrets. 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.”

His full statement is below:

I have been uncharacteristically silent these past ten months. 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.

In August of last year, I underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in my abdomen. That operation was thought to have been a success, but it caused a cascade of secondary complications – which I have been fighting in hospital ever since. It was a long and hard fight with many setbacks, but I was steadily, if slowly, overcoming each obstacle along the way and gradually making my way back to health.

However, recent tests have revealed that the cancer has returned. There was no sign of it as recently as a month ago, which means it is aggressive and spreading rapidly. 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.

I wish to thank my doctors and caregivers, whose efforts have been magnificent. My dear friends, who have given me a lifetime of memories and whose support has sustained me through these difficult months. And all of my partners at The Washington Post, Fox News, and Crown Publishing.

Lastly, I thank my colleagues, my readers, and my viewers, who have made my career possible and given consequence to my life’s work. I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking. I am grateful to have played a small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny.

I leave this life with no regrets. 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.

More to come.

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