Tony Snow, a longtime Fox News Channel host who went on to become White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, died early Saturday after a long bout with cancer.
Snow died at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., according to a report on FoxNews.com. He was 53.
Snow, who joined Fox News in 1996 as the anchor of Fox News Sunday and hosted The Tony Snow Show on Fox Radio, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005.
"I always thought he was a great communicator and what people don't know about Tony is that he was a genuine intellectual," said Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News, on the network's morning show, Fox & Friends, Saturday.
"He had traveled, he understood a lot about foreign policy, he was a writer ," Ailes added. "He was a very deep thinker. On top of that, he played in a rock band and sometimes did things you didn't expect of him. So he was a renaissance man in a sense and kind of guy who could go anywhere and have an intellectual conversation with anyone. At the same time, the only thing he ever worried about was his family. That was the only time I ever saw Tony show any concern about anything,"
In April 2006, with his cancer in remission, Snow was tapped to succeed Scott McClellan as President Bush’s third press secretary.
Ailes cautioned Snow about taking the White House job.
"He had already been diagnosed with cancer when he went to the White House," Ailes said. "And I said, 'Tony, that job, you know, you have to sit in there with a pack of journalists who are trying to chew you up every day, and the hours are long and tough.' And he said, 'You know, I understand all that. But I think I can make a difference. I understand this business and I think I can do it.'"
In the spring of 2007, Snow announced that his cancer had returned and that he would undergo further treatment. He resigned as press secretary in September 2007.
He joined CNN last April as a commentator. But his illness prevented him from making more than a handful of appearances on the network.
"Tony Snow was a highly respected colleague and a friend to many of us," said Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S., in statement. "The intelligence and warmth he brought to every conversation will be missed and the example he set of professionalism combined with humanity will be long remembered. He loved this country and its people and was looking forward to getting out into America to listen to their stories and share them with the rest of us. It is all of our loss that he never got the chance to do so. We regret that he was not a part of our CNN family longer, and our deepest condolences go out to his family."
Robert Anthony Snow was born June 1, 1955, in Berea, Ky. After receiving philosophy degrees from Davidson College in North Carolina and the University of Chicago, he taught in Kenya.
Snow worked as an editorial writer and editor for several newspapers, including the Detroit News and the Washington Times, before becoming a speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush in 1991.
Snow is survived by his wife, Jill Walker, and three children.
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