Tony Snow

Last updated
Tony Snow
Tony Snow -- White House.jpg
25th 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. after 1987)
Education Davidson College (BA)

Robert Anthony Snow (June 1, 1955 July 12, 2008) was an American journalist, political commentator, television news anchor, syndicated columnist, radio host, musician, and the 23rd 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. 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. In his journalistic and governmental capacities, Snow generally supported conservative causes. [2] [3] Snow died of colon cancer on July 12, 2008.


Early life and education

Snow was born in Berea, Kentucky, and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father, Jim, was a social studies teacher, guidance counselor, and an assistant principal at Princeton High School. His mother was an inner-city nurse who died of colon cancer in 1973, when Snow was 17. Snow developed an early interest in journalism, public policy, and politics, and was editor of his high school newspaper.

After graduating from Princeton 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]

In Ohio, Snow originally registered to vote as a Democrat. He was a convert to Roman Catholicism. [6] [7]


Journalism and broadcasting

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.

White House Press Secretary

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. [8] Bush acknowledged Snow's criticisms during the announcement of Snow's appointment, saying that Snow was "not afraid to express his own opinions". [9]

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. [10] 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". [11]

Personal life

Snow was an avid musician. He played the trombone, flute, piccolo, saxophone, and guitar, [12] [13] [14] [15] 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 . [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." [10]

Related Research Articles

Laura Bush 43rd First Lady of the United States and educator

Laura Lane Bush is an American educator who was First Lady of the United States as the wife of Former President George W. Bush, from 2001 to 2009. Bush previously served as First Lady of Texas from 1995 to 2000.

Scott McClellan

Scott McClellan was the 22nd White House Press Secretary (2003–06) for President George W. Bush, and author of a controversial No. 1 New York Times bestseller about the Bush Administration titled What Happened. He replaced Ari Fleischer as press secretary in July 2003 and served until May 10, 2006. McClellan was the longest serving press secretary under George W. Bush.

White House Press Secretary Chief spokesperson for the executive branch of the U.S. government

The White House press secretary is a senior White House official whose primary responsibility is to act as spokesperson for the executive branch of the United States government administration, especially with regard to the president, senior aides and executives, as well as government policies.

Joseph Charles Wilson IV was an American diplomat who was best known for his 2002 trip to Niger to investigate allegations that Saddam Hussein was attempting to purchase yellowcake uranium; his New York Times op-ed piece, "What I Didn't Find in Africa"; and the subsequent leaking of information pertaining to the identity of his wife Valerie Plame as a CIA officer. He also served as the CEO of a consulting firm he founded, JC Wilson International Ventures, and as the vice chairman of Jarch Capital, LLC.

Lou Dobbs American television host

Louis Carl Dobbs is an American television commentator, conspiracy theorist, radio show host, and the anchor of Lou Dobbs Tonight on Fox Business Network.

<i>Fox News Sunday</i> News program

Fox News Sunday is a Sunday morning talk show airing on the broadcast Fox network since 1996, as a presentation of Fox News Channel. It is the only regularly scheduled Fox News program carried on the main Fox broadcast network.

Mike Gallagher (political commentator)

Mike Gallagher is an American radio host and conservative political commentator. He is the host of The Mike Gallagher Show, a nationally syndicated radio program that airs throughout the United States on Salem Radio Network and is also a FOX News Channel Contributor and guest host. According to Talkers magazine, Gallagher is the ninth most-listened-to radio talk show host in the United States.

Draft Condi movement 2008 grassroots effort to draft Condoleezza Rice to run for President of the United States

The "Draft Condi"movement was a grassroots effort to draft United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to run for President of the United States in the 2008 U.S. election.

Mary Tillotson is an American broadcast journalist formerly with CNN, for whom she was a White House correspondent and host of CNN & Co.

Fox News Talk Radio station

Fox News Talk is a satellite radio channel that showcases talk shows and news reports from Fox News Channel personalities, along with other Fox News and talk programming. Fox News Talk carries a combination of Fox News syndicated radio programming, Fox News Channel show audio simulcasts, and Fox newscasts at the top of the hour.

Dana Perino

Dana Marie Perino is an American political commentator and author who served as the 24th White House Press Secretary, serving under President George W. Bush from September 14, 2007, to January 20, 2009. She was the second female White House Press Secretary, after Dee Dee Myers, who served during the Clinton Administration. She is currently a political commentator for Fox News, while also serving as a co-host of the network's talk show The Five, and is a book publishing executive at Random House. On October 2, 2017, she began hosting The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino on Fox News.

Iraq War troop surge of 2007 Increase in US soldiers stationed in Iraq

In the context of the Iraq War, the surge refers to United States President George W. Bush's 2007 increase in the number of American troops in order to provide security to Baghdad and Al Anbar Governorate.

Jay Carney

James Ferguson Carney is a former White House press secretary to President Barack Obama. He served as press secretary from January 2011 through June 2014. For the first two years of Obama's presidency, Carney was director of communications for Vice President Joe Biden. Prior to his government service, Carney worked for 20 years at Time Magazine, and was the magazine's Washington bureau chief from 2005 to 2008. As a Washington-based reporter, Carney appeared frequently on various political talk shows, including This Week with George Stephanopoulos for ABC News.

Scooter Libby American lawyer

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is an American lawyer and former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Morning Joe is an American morning news and talk show, airing weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on the network's cable news channel MSNBC. It features former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough providing both reporting and discussion on the news of the day in a panel format with co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist, among others.

Robert Gibbs

Robert Lane Gibbs is an American communication professional who served as executive vice president and global chief communications officer of McDonald's from 2015 to 2019 and as the twenty-fifth White House Press Secretary from 2009 to 2011.

Timothy Goeglein was special assistant to U.S. President George W. Bush and Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison from 2001 to 2008. In January 2009, Goeglein became the Vice President of External and Government Relations for the Christian Organization Focus on the Family.

Griff Jenkins

William Griffin "Griff" Jenkins is an American television and radio personality, reporter, and producer for Fox News Channel.


  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. Hemingway, Mollie (July 12, 2008). "Tony Snow, Catholic, Dead at 53", (a review)" . Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  7. [See Christianity Today external link, below. | accessdate=May 1, 2016]
  8. "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.
  9. Dodge, Catherine; Brendan Murray (April 26, 2006). "Bush Picks Fox News's Snow as White House Spokesman". Retrieved 2007-07-21.
  10. 1 2 "Former White House Spokesman Tony Snow Dies". CNN. June 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
  11. Baker, Peter (September 13, 2007). "Snow Relishes Final Joust With Reporters". The Washington Post .
  12. "Tony Snow's White House Serenade".
  13. "Dana Perino: Remembering Tony Snow".
  14. "Former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow to speak at local fund raiser, Aug. 5". Midland Reporter-Telegram. 25 June 2008.
  15. "Fox News".
  16. "Welcome to the Beats Workin' Website!".
  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