Who Was Robert Novak?
Robert David Sanders "Bob" Novak was born in Joliet, Illinois on February 26, 1931. He attended the University of Illinois, and started his journalistic carreer as a student writer for the Joliet Herald-News, and left the university one course short of graduation to work for another Illinois newspaper. The University of Illinois awarded him his journalism degree almost 40 years later.
Robert Novak was a soldier in the Korean War in the 1950s, whereafter he returned home and started working for the Associate Press. He first started publishing an opinion column in 1963 together with Rowland Evans. The pair used anynomous sources to publish stories, admitting that their credibility was hurt by susceptibility to manipulation by their sources. Novak and Evans joined CNN as a political analysts in 1980. In 2001, Robert Novak won the National Press Club's Fourth Estate Award for lifetime achievement in journalism. Novak got the nickname Prince of Darkness from fellow journalist John Lindsay, who thought Novak had a grim view of the future.
Novak is most known for his investigations on controversial topics in US politics. He caused a scandal when he exposed Valerie Plame as a CIA agent in his column in 2003, but he was never charged with the distribution of classified information. In 2006, Novak became so angry during a CNN interview, that he tore off his microphone and walked out of the studio. He was suspended from his work for one day.
In 2005, Robert Novak left CNN to work as a political analyst for Fox News. His memoirs, titled Prince of Darkness: Fifty Years Reporting in Washington, were published in 2007.
Robert Novak was diagnosed with a brain tumor on July 27, 2008. The diagnosis came just days after Novak had bumped into a pedestrian with his car, and not noticed. His doctors gave him a routine brain scan and found the cancer, which eventually killed him. His column was suspended in February 2009 - 12 years after it was first published.