Tony Snow, a conservative writer and commentator who cheerfully sparred with reporters in the White House briefing room during a year and a half stint as President Bush's press secretary, has died of colon cancer, Fox News reported today. Snow was 53 years old. Snow, who served as the first host of the television news program "Fox News Sunday," would later say that in the Bush administration he was enjoying "the most exciting, intellectually aerobic job I'm ever going to have."
Unlike his predecessor, Scott McClellan, who came to define caution and bland delivery from the White House podium, Snow was never shy about playing to the cameras. Quick at repartee, with a broadcaster's good looks and a relentlessly bright outlook —if not always a command of the facts—he became a popular figure around the country. He was the first press secretary, by his own accounting, to travel the country raising money for Republican candidates.