Anthony Lewis, Retired New York Times Columnist, Dies at 85

Jewish Scribe Was Champion and Critic of U.S. Legal System

Anthony Lewis, a retired New York Times columnist, has died at 85.
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Anthony Lewis, a retired New York Times columnist, has died at 85.

By Reuters

Published March 25, 2013.
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Gideon appealed to the Supreme Court, which used his case to declare that every person charged with a serious crime is entitled to the assistance of a lawyer.

‘OPTIMIST ABOUT AMERICA’

In his final column, written in the months following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, Lewis mused on how the United States would balance its tradition of free expression with a renewed concern about national security.

“I am an optimist about America. But how can I maintain that optimism after Vietnam, after the murder of so many who fought for civil rights, after the Red scare and after the abusive tactics planned by government today?” he wrote. “I can because we have regretted our mistakes in the past, relearning every time that no ruler can be trusted with arbitrary power. And I believe we will again.”

Lewis is survived by his second wife, Margaret Marshall, former chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court; daughters Eliza and Mia, son David, and seven grandchildren. Marshall resigned from the court in 2010 to care for Lewis after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Lewis was a lover of music, the arts, gardening and food, recalled his daughter Mia, who noted that her father loved to make fruit jellies, which won prizes at fairs on Martha’s Vineyard, the Massachusetts resort island.

“Growing up, we all got the sense that the things that he cared about in the world, that he wrote about, he really felt very deeply and cared about tremendously, and he passed that on to us,” Mia Lewis said.


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