FIRE Mourns the Passing of David Brudnoy

December 20, 2004

It is with deep sadness that FIRE announces the passing of an invaluable member of its Board of Advisors, David Brudnoy.  Not only was Mr. Brudnoy a radio talk show host, television commentator, teacher, and writer, but to many people at FIRE he was also a friend.  He will be sorely missed.


For 18 years, Mr. Brudnoy hosted one of New England’s most influential and popular radio programs.  Described by The Boston Globe as “the talk-radio host for people who didn’t like talk radio,” he loved the free exchange of ideas and was known for treating guests with dignity and respect.


Mr. Brudnoy taught history, philosophy, politics, and communication at Harvard University, Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, and the University of Rhode Island.  His articles were printed in The New York Times, National Review, New Republic, The Japan Times, The Saturday Evening Post, The Journal of American History, TV Guide, and Boston Magazine.  He was honored with the first Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1996 March of Dimes Achievement in Radio Awards ceremony.  His memoir, “Life is Not a Rehearsal,” was published by Doubleday in 1997.  That same year, Mr. Brudnoy won the Freedom of Speech Award from the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts and was nominated for the prestigious Marconi Award for “Personality of the Year in a Major Market.”


Mr. Brudnoy’s contributions to FIRE were invaluable.  He was a committed and consistent defender of liberty, and his insight and intellect helped FIRE from the beginning.  FIRE Vice Chairman and cofounder Harvey Silverglate noted in The Boston Phoenix that “Brudnoy really believed the best thing about this country was that everyone could have a point of view and not be afraid to express it — in freedom.” 


FIRE is not alone in mourning Mr. Brudnoy.  Tributes to Mr. Brudnoy’s life have spanned the political spectrum, with Senator Ted Kennedy, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, and many others paying their respects.  In a particularly eloquent tribute, Governor Romney told the Globe:  “The two most important days in your life are the day you’re born and the day you leave . . . On the day you leave, you measure your life on two things – what you’re taking with you and what you’re leaving behind. What he’s taking with him is a soul that’s pure, honest, and full of character and integrity. What he leaves behind is literally millions of listeners who have gotten new perspectives and insights from his unprejudiced voice.”


Mr. Brudnoy passed away on the evening of Thursday, December 9, at Massachusetts General Hospital after an arduous battle with cancer.  FIRE expresses its heartfelt sympathy to his friends, family, and loved ones.