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Robert Anthony "Tony" Snow (June 1, 1955–July 12, 2008) was an Americanmarker political commentator, television news anchor, syndicated columnist, radio host, musician, and the third White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush. Snow also worked for President George H. W. Bush as chief speechwriter and Deputy Assistant of Media Affairs. He served as White House Press Secretary from May 2006 until his resignation effective September 2007.

Between his two White Housemarker stints, Snow was a broadcaster and newspaper columnist. After years of regular guest-hosting for The Rush Limbaugh Show and providing news commentary for National Public Radio, he launched his own talk radio program, The Tony Snow Show, which went on to become nationally syndicated. He was also a regular personality on Fox News Channel since 1996, hosting Fox News Sunday and Weekend Live, and often substituting as host of The O'Reilly Factor. In April 2008, Snow briefly joined CNN as a commentator.

In his journalistic and governmental capacities, Snow generally supported conservative policy positions. He died of colon cancer on July 12, 2008.

Early life, family and interests

Snow was born in Berea, Kentuckymarker, and raised in Cincinnati, Ohiomarker. His father, Jim, taught social studies and was an assistant principal at Princeton High School in suburban Cincinnati, from which his son graduated. His mother was an inner-city nurse who died of colon cancer in 1973 when Snow was 17 years old. After graduating from Princeton High School in Sharonville, Ohiomarker, Snow obtained his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Davidson College in 1977.

Snow was an avid musician. He played the trombone, flute, piccolo, saxophone and guitar, and belonged to a cover band, Beats Workin', which featured fellow Washingtonmarker-area professionals. Beats Workin' played publicly with a number of rock bands, including Snow's friends Skunk Baxter (The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan) and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. He was featured on an episode of VH1 Classic's Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp.

Early career

Snow began his journalism career in 1979 as an editorial writer for The Greensboro Record in North Carolinamarker, next working as an editorial writer at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginiamarker (1981–82), editorial page editor of The Daily Press in Newport Newsmarker (1982–84), deputy editorial page editor of The Detroit News (1984–87) and editorial page editor of The Washington Times (1987–91). Also, The Detroit News published his commentary from 1993 to 2000, and he was a Counterpoint Columnist for USA Today from 1994 to 2000.

Snow also wrote a syndicated column for Creators Syndicate between 1993 and 2000. As a nationally syndicated columnist, his commentaries appeared in more than 200 newspapers nationwide. Snow won numerous awards during his print career, including citations from the Virginia Press Association, the Detroit Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, The Associated Press and Gannett.

He appeared on radio and television programs worldwide including The McLaughlin Group, The MacNeil–Lehrer NewsHour, Face the Nation, Crossfire, and Good Morning America. Until 1994, Snow was the writer, correspondent and host of the PBS news special The New Militant Center.

In 1991, Snow took a sabbatical from journalism to work in the White House for President George H. W. Bush, first as chief speechwriter (Deputy Assistant to the President for Communications and Director of Speechwriting) and later as Deputy Assistant to the President for Media Affairs (1992–1993).

From 1996 to 2003, he served as the first host of FOX News Sunday, a Sunday morning interview and roundtable program produced by Fox News, airing on affiliates of the Fox Broadcasting Company and later in the day on Fox News Channel.

Snow served as the primary guest host of Rush Limbaugh's program from the mid-1990s on. He was also a frequent commentator on National Public Radio. Snow's own Tony Snow Show on Fox News Radio premiered in late 2003. It ended when he became White House Press Secretary in April 2006.

Return to the White House

In April 2006, Snow was named White House Press Secretary to replace Scott McClellan in the George W. Bush administration. His appointment to the position was formally announced on April 26, 2006. The position of White House Press Secretary has historically been filled by individuals from news media backgrounds.

His selection as press secretary was initially criticized because of some of his past comments about Bush.Bush acknowledged Snow's prior criticisms during the announcement of his appointment, stating that Snow was "not afraid to express his own opinions".

Snow began his new press secretary duties on May 8 2006.Snow decided to leave the position of press secretary after new White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten asked all staff members to either commit to staying through the end of Bush's second term or leave by Labor Day of 2007. In his final press briefing on September 13 2007, Snow commented that he would miss the duties of the position. "I love these briefings," he said.

Illness and death

In February 2005, while still at Fox News, Snow was diagnosed with colon cancer. He returned to broadcasting in April 2005 after having surgery. On March 23, 2007, after almost a year as press secretary, Snow once again recused himself from work to seek treatment for recurrent cancer. Treatment for the spreading cancer continued to force periodic absences from his duties in his final few months as press secretary, his subsequent position as a CNN commentator, and his public speaking engagements. In the early morning of July 12, 2008, Snow died at Georgetown University Hospitalmarker as a result of colon cancer that had spread to his liver. Reacting to Snow's death, former President George H. W. Bush praised Snow's ability to bring "a certain civility to this very contentious job."

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