Friday, 14 April 2017

William Norman Grigg, Rest In Peace

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The news of his passing hit me like a thunderclap, and has left me with a great sense of loss and sadness. Besides being a dear friend, William Norman Grigg (shown) was, for more than a decade, my colleague at The New American, and one of our most prolific and talented writers. When his first article appeared in our pages, I was unfamiliar with him, but I loved his writing style. “Who is this guy?” I asked Gary Benoit, our editor. “We’ve got to hire him.” And we did. As it turned out, he was far more than merely a great writer; he was one of those individuals who actually qualify for the often misapplied label of “genius.” 

Not only was Will a marvelous wordsmith, but he was also a deep thinker and voracious reader, with a prodigious background knowledge of history, philosophy, literature, theology, economics, music, art, and popular culture. Moreover, he could type furiously at astounding speeds and (unlike yours truly) deliver brilliant articles ahead of deadline. No deskbound scribbler, Will was one of those rare writers who was comfortable operating in many different modes: as researcher, copyeditor, investigative reporter, book author, international correspondent, public speaker, debater, TV talk-show host. His corpus of articles, essays, and editorials is remarkable for both its breadth and depth. He was famous for his rapier wit, Chestertonian retorts, amazing recall ability, and extraordinary vocabulary (which earned him the nickname of Thesaurus Rex). I was proud to have him on board as a fellow senior editor, a position in which he served from 1995-2005.

Beyond his legendary talents and intellectual prowess, Will was a passionate patriot, a committed Christian, and a devoted husband and father. A fellow Idahoan, he, like myself, decided to return to his rural roots of his home state, after many years of national and international travel and city living. He returned to the farm country of southwestern Idaho; I came back to the timber country of the northern panhandle. 

Will succumbed to a heart attack on April 12, 2017, at the age of 54. He will be sorely missed by many, including a large audience of friends throughout the world who, having never met the man, nonetheless have been immeasurably enriched by his writings and commentary. He is survived by his lovely wife Korrin and six children. A GoFundMe page has been set-up to help his family with his medical bills and final expenses:

Photo of William Norman Grigg: Facebook

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