The Wonderful Mary Lou Forbes - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Wonderful Mary Lou Forbes

I regret to note the passing of the great Mary Lou Forbes, longtime commentary editor of The Washington Times. Mary Lou came into the office two Tuesdays ago complaining of bad back pain, and the next day she fell twice. She died of cancer, previously undiagnosed, today.

Mary Lou was a legend in the conservative journalism world. Way back in 1959, a full half century ago, she won the Pulitzer Prize. For the past 27 years, she has worked like a dervish to make the commentary pages of the Wash Times a lively and essential outlet for conservative opinion — one that was especially important in the 15 of those years before the Internet opened more doors. For all those years, her Times pages (along with the companion pages that were the province of Tony Snow, Tod Lindberg, Helle Dale, Tony Blankley, and Deborah Simmons) were an oasis of unimaginable comfort and great information and inspiration for conservatives struggling to be heard. So many conservative opinion-mongers got their first big breaks on the op-ed/commentary pages of the Wash Times, through Mary Lou’s services!

More than that, Mary Lou was one of the sweetest ladies I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. I sat next to her at a number of conservative dinner gatherings; my wife and I often sat in front of or right next to her in church; and for the past two months I had the privilege of working about 20 feet away from her in the Times offices. She was kind, friendly…just a pleasure to be around. And, to her credit, a wonderfully devout woman (Catholic) who loved her family and her God.

On what turned out to be her last day in the office, Mary Lou told me how frustrating it was for her to have her back hurting so much, because she had always been — and still considered herself, at age 83 — quite the athlete. “I was always the one who, when we went to the beach, swam way out past the breakers, way offshore, and swam around for longer than anybody else, too, before I came back in,” she said. (I think she also said she was quite a basketball player years ago.) And one could tell: She carried herself erect, like an athlete does.

May she now swim safely out past the breakers forever, out where the buoyancy of God’s love and peace holds her above the waves. Mary Lou was a wonderful lady. Rest in peace, and in God’s hand.

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