Tony Snow

Last updated
Tony Snow
Tony Snow -- White House.jpg
23rd White House Press Secretary
In office
May 10, 2006 September 14, 2007
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Scott McClellan
Succeeded by Dana Perino
Personal details
Robert Anthony Snow

(1955-06-01)June 1, 1955
Berea, Kentucky, U.S.
DiedJuly 12, 2008(2008-07-12) (aged 53)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Democratic (Formerly)
Jill Walker(m. 1987)
Education Davidson College (BA)
University of Chicago

Robert Anthony Snow, known as Tony Snow (June 1, 1955 July 12, 2008), was an American journalist, political commentator, television news anchor, syndicated columnist, radio host, musician, and the twenty-third White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush, from May 2006 until his resignation in September 2007. Snow also worked for the first President Bush as chief speechwriter and Deputy Assistant of Media Affairs, from 1991 to 1993.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Journalist person who collects, writes and distributes news and other information

A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist's work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues. However, most journalists tend to specialize, and by cooperating with other journalists, produce journals that span many topics. For example, a sports journalist covers news within the world of sports, but this journalist may be a part of a newspaper that covers many different topics.

Television Telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images

Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome, or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a television set, a television program, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, entertainment and news.


Between his two White House 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 beginning in 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. [1] He also made several notable speeches, including keynote addresses at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2007 and 2008.

White House Official residence and workplace of the President of the United States

The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800. The term "White House" is often used as a metonym for the president and his advisers.

Television presenter person who introduces or hosts television programs

A presenter is a person who introduces or hosts television programs. Nowadays, it is common for personalities in other fields to take on this role, but some people have made their name solely within the field of presenting, particularly within children's television series, to become television personalities.

Newspaper Scheduled publication containing news of events, articles, features, editorials, and advertising

A newspaper is a periodical publication containing written information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background.

In his journalistic and governmental capacities, Snow generally supported conservative causes. [2] [3] Snow died of colon cancer on July 12, 2008.

Conservatism in the United States Conservatism in the United States

Conservatism in the United States is a broad system of political beliefs in the United States that is characterized by respect for American traditions, republicanism, support for Judeo-Christian values, moral universalism, pro-business and anti-labor, anti-communism, individualism, advocacy of American exceptionalism, and a defense of Western culture from the perceived threats posed by socialism, authoritarianism, and moral relativism. Liberty is a core value, as is with all major American parties. American conservatives consider individual liberty—within the bounds of American values—as the fundamental trait of democracy; this perspective contrasts with that of modern American liberals, who generally place a greater value on equality and social justice and emphasize the need for state intervention to achieve these goals. American conservatives believe in limiting government in size and scope, and in a balance between national government and states' rights. Apart from some libertarians, they tend to favor strong action in areas they believe to be within government's legitimate jurisdiction, particularly national defense and law enforcement. Social conservatives oppose abortion and favor restricting LGBT rights, while privileging traditional marriage and supporting Christian prayer in public schools.

Early life, family and interests

Snow was born in Berea, Kentucky, and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father, Jim, taught social studies, and was a school guidance counselor and an assistant principal at Princeton High School in Sharonville, Ohio (a suburb of Cincinnati), from which his son graduated. His mother was an inner-city nurse who died of colon cancer in 1973, when Snow was seventeen years of age. Snow developed an early interest in journalism, public policy, and politics, and was editor of his high school newspaper.

Berea, Kentucky City in Kentucky, United States

Berea is a home rule-class city in Madison County, Kentucky, in the United States. The town is best known for its art festivals, historic restaurants and buildings, and as the home to Berea College, a private, liberal arts college. The population was 13,561 at the 2010 census. It is one of the fastest-growing towns in Kentucky, having increased by 27.4% since 2000.

Kentucky State of the United States of America

Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it, (because in Kentucky's first constitution, the name state was used) Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth. Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky split from it and became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.

Ohio State of the United States of America

Ohio is a Midwestern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Of the fifty states, it is the 34th largest by area, the seventh most populous, and the tenth most densely populated. The state's capital and largest city is Columbus.

After graduating from high school in 1973, [4] Snow obtained in 1977 a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Davidson College in North Carolina. He then taught physics in high school. He attended graduate programs in philosophy and economics at the University of Chicago. [5]

A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.

Philosophy Study of general and fundamental questions

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?

Davidson College liberal arts college in Davidson, North Carolina

Davidson College is a private liberal arts college in Davidson, North Carolina. The college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars.

Snow was an avid musician. He played the trombone, flute, piccolo, saxophone, and guitar, [6] [7] [8] [9] and belonged to a cover band, Beats Workin', which featured fellow Washington-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. Snow was featured on an episode of VH1 Classic's Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp . [10]

Trombone Type of brass instrument

The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. As on all brass instruments, sound is produced when the player's vibrating lips (embouchure) cause the air column inside the instrument to vibrate. Nearly all trombones have a telescoping slide mechanism that varies the length of the instrument to change the pitch. Many modern trombone models also use a valve attachment to lower the pitch of the instrument. Variants such as the valve trombone and superbone have three valves similar to those on the trumpet.

Flute musical instrument of the woodwind family

The flute is a family of musical instruments in the woodwind group. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel–Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, flautist, flutist or, less commonly, fluter or flutenist.

Piccolo small musical instrument of the flute family

The piccolo is a half-size flute, and a member of the woodwind family of musical instruments. The modern piccolo has most of the same fingerings as its larger sibling, the standard transverse flute, but the sound it produces is an octave higher than written. This gave rise to the name ottavino, which the instrument is called in the scores of Italian composers. It is also called flauto piccolo or flautino.

In Ohio, Snow originally registered to vote as a Democrat. He was a convert to Roman Catholicism. [11] [12]


Tony Snow interviewing John Warner in 2003 US Navy 030712-N-8268S-309 Senator John W. Warner, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee is interviewed on live television by Tony Snow of Fox News Network.jpg
Tony Snow interviewing John Warner in 2003

Snow began his journalism career in 1979 as an editorial writer for The Greensboro Record in Greensboro, North Carolina]], next working as an editorial writer at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia (1981–82), editorial page editor of The Daily Press in Newport News (1982–84), deputy editorial page editor of The Detroit News (1984–87), and editorial page editor of The Washington Times (1987–91).

Tony Snow pictured with President George W. Bush and outgoing Press Secretary Scott McClellan. Tony snow gwbush scott mcclellan.png
Tony Snow pictured with President George W. Bush and outgoing Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

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 1993 to 2000, The Detroit News published his commentaries, and from 1994 to 2000 he was a Counterpoint Columnist for USA Today . Snow also wrote a syndicated column for Creators Syndicate between 1993 and 2000; his commentaries appeared in more than 200 newspapers nationwide. Snow won numerous awards during his print career, including those 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.

Snow 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.

From 1996 to 2003, Snow was 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 was the primary guest host of Rush Limbaugh's program beginning in the mid-1990s. 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.

Tony Snow pictured with President George W. Bush and Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino. Perino - Bush - Snow 20070831-6 p083107cg-0044jpg-515h.jpg
Tony Snow pictured with President George W. Bush and Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino.

In April 2006, Snow was named White House Press Secretary in the George W. Bush administration, replacing Scott McClellan. His appointment to the position was formally announced on April 26, 2006. His selection was initially criticized because of some of his past comments about Bush. [13] Bush acknowledged Snow's criticisms during the announcement of Snow's appointment, saying that Snow was "not afraid to express his own opinions". [14]

Snow began his new press secretary duties on May 8, 2006. He 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, in January 2009, or to leave by Labor Day of 2007. [15] On September 13, 2007, Snow gave his final press briefing, saying that he would miss the duties of his position, and that "I love these briefings". [16]

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 undergoing surgery. [17] [18] On March 23, 2007, after almost a year as press secretary, Snow once again took a leave of absence to seek treatment for recurrent cancer. [19] [20] [21] [22] Treatment for the spreading cancer in his final few months forced periodic absences from Snow's duties as press secretary, his subsequent position as a CNN commentator, and his public speaking engagements. [23] [24]

On July 12, 2008, Snow died at Georgetown University Hospital as a result of colon cancer that had spread to his liver. [25] He was 53 years old. Reacting to Snow's death, President George W. Bush praised Snow's ability to bring "a certain civility to this very contentious job." [15]

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  1. "Former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow joins CNN". CNN. 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
  2. "A Gentleman and Conservative Warrior," IntellectualConservative, July 12, 2008. Archived July 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Tony Snow is Dead; Former Bush Press Secretary Was 53," New York Daily News, July 12, 2008.
  4. "1973 PHS Yearbook, page 176". Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  5. "Former White House spokesman Tony Snow dies". 12 July 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  6. "Tony Snow's White House Serenade".
  7. "Dana Perino: Remembering Tony Snow".
  8. "Former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow to speak at local fund raiser, Aug. 5". Midland Reporter-Telegram. 25 June 2008.
  9. "Fox News".
  10. "Welcome to the Beats Workin' Website!".
  11. Hemingway, Mollie (July 12, 2008). "Tony Snow, Catholic, Dead at 53", (a review)" . Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  12. [See Christianity Today external link, below. | accessdate=May 1, 2016]
  13. "Tony Snow On President Bush: 'An Embarrassment,' 'Impotent,' 'Doesn't Seem To Mean What He Says'". Think Progress. April 25, 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
  14. Dodge, Catherine; Brendan Murray (April 26, 2006). "Bush Picks Fox News's Snow as White House Spokesman". Retrieved 2007-07-21.
  15. 1 2 "Former White House Spokesman Tony Snow Dies". CNN. June 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
  16. Baker, Peter (September 13, 2007). "Snow Relishes Final Joust With Reporters". The Washington Post .
  17. "Tony Snow Diagnosed With Colon Cancer". Matra Healthcare. February 15, 2005. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
  18. "Why Bush Chose Tony Snow as His New Spokesman". Time Magazine. 2006-04-25. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
  19. Brusk, Steve (March 23, 2007). "White House spokesman Snow faces surgery". CNN. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
  20. "White House spokesman's cancer returns". CNN. 2007-03-27. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
  21. Loven, Jennifer. "Tests show Snow's Cancer has returned". Associated Press (via ABC News). Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  22. Holland, Steve (March 27, 2007). "Bush's spokesman Snow has recurrence of cancer". Reuters. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
  23. "Former White House press secretary Tony Snow in Spokane hospital". Archived from the original on April 27, 2008.
  24. Former Bush press secretary Snow, sick, cancels Ohio speech, Associated Press (May 28, 2008).
  25. "Tony Snow, Former White House Press Secretary and FOX News Anchor, Dies at 50". FOX News. 2008-07-12. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
Media offices
New office Anchor of Fox News Sunday
Succeeded by
Chris Wallace
Political offices
Preceded by
Scott McClellan
White House Press Secretary
Succeeded by
Dana Perino