Former New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis dies at 85; winner of two Pulitzer Prizes

Anthony Lewis, a journalist and author who won two Pulitzer Prizes and penned a column for The New York Times for more than three decades, died early this morning, his wife said. He was 85.

Anthony Lewis

He died at home of complications of renal and heart failure, his wife, former Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court chief justice Margaret Marshall, told the Globe.

Mr. Lewis, an expert on constitutional law, won the Pulitzer for national reporting for the Washington Daily News in 1955. He won again for national reporting for the New York Times in 1963.

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He was the author of the column “Abroad at Home” for the Times from 1969 to 2001.

President Clinton awarded him the Presidential Citizens Medal in 2001. The citation lauded him as a “staunch defender of freedom of speech, individual rights, and the rule of law” and a “clear and courageous voice for democracy and justice.”

Mr. Lewis was also the author of several books: “Gideon’s Trumpet” (1964), “Portrait of a Decade: The Second American Revolution” (1964) and “Make No Law: The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment” (1991).

Marshall, announcing her retirement from the court in 2010, said that her husband had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and they wanted to “enjoy our final seasons together.”

Born March 27, 1927, in New York City, Mr. Lewis was a 1948 graduate of Harvard College. He worked at the Washington Daily News and a brief stint at the Democratic National Committee as a young man, but spent the lion’s share of his career at the Times, where his assignments also included London bureau chief.

Mr. Lewis has three children by an earlier marriage. The funeral will be private, but a memorial service is expected to be held later. Arrangements have not been set.