Conservative activist Andrew Breitbart dead at 43

Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:45pm EST
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Conservative activist Andrew Breitbart, an influential voice in Republican circles known for his online media attacks on liberals, died unexpectedly of natural causes in Los Angeles early on Thursday, his family said. He was 43.

Breitbart, the founder of a news website named after himself, was walking late on Wednesday near his Los Angeles home when he collapsed, said his father-in-law, actor Orson Bean.

"He collapsed on the sidewalk and the paramedics were there very quickly and they couldn't revive him," Bean told Reuters in a phone interview.

A friend of Breitbart told Reuters he had a history of heart problems and is believed to have suffered a heart attack.

The brash and outspoken blogger and commentator, who published politically inspired photos and undercover videos and aimed much of his ire at Hollywood liberals, was at the center of several news websites including, and

Breitbart relished the role he cast for himself as an embattled conservative on the margins of the mainstream media he called "the Complex." Even so, he gained fans as a frequent guest on television news shows.

His work helped generate a number of prominent news stories. Those included undercover videos posted on his website about ACORN, a grass-roots group that offered housing assistance and other aid to the poor, and his role in bringing to national attention a sexually suggestive photo Democratic U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner of New York posted through his Twitter page.

That scandal eventually led to Weiner's resignation last year.   Continued...

Conservative journalist Andrew Breitbart speaks at a news conference prior to U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) in New York, June 6, 2011.   REUTERS/Brendan McDermid