The day did not officially begin in the office of Congressman Marty Meehan, whom I serfed for in the early 90s, without a discussion of that day’s political report from Rowland and Novak. Two of the last of the great postwar generation of determined, shoe-leather reporters, Rowland and Novak had a talent for finding a nugget of gold among the mountain of pyrite produced daily in Washington. Novak, (“Bob" to his friends; “Prince of Darkness” to his enemies and best friends), died today at the age of 78. Though a conservative, he was a close friend of Lyndon Johnson, which helped land him on the Nixon enemies’ list. Born a Jew, he converted to Catholicism in 1998 after a career criticizing the Israeli government. Usually scowling, always delightfully unpredictable, Novak lived his life like he followed a lead: with dogged determination--to wherever it led. R.I.P.
Matt Malone, S.J.