It is shocking news today that Andrew Breitbart died last night from a massive heart attack.
My condolences go out to his family and friends for the loss and to the blogging community as well. Andrew was not only an inspiration for many bloggers but gave many a hand up by having them write on one of his "Big" websites.
While I can not claim Andrew as a close friend, I did have the pleasure of meeting him several times and having a long conversation with him at the Smart Girl Politics Summit last year in St. Louis. (Above picture is of Andrew speaking at the Summit.)
It was after the Summit and many of us attended a reception in the lounge on the top floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The room had large windows all around which created a beautiful panoramic view of the city. I was sitting alone staring out the window when suddenly Andrew came over and sat next to me. Now I had only just met him in the lobby (for the first time) as he arrived before the Summit so it surprised me that he would come over and sit down to strike up a conversation.
At first I talked to him about some of the Communist events I have covered and at one point he asked if I would write an article for one of his "big" websites describing my experience at a recent Communist award ceremony held in a union hall. I told him I would be happy to but unfortunately I never got around to writing it (something I regret now).
Eventually we began talking about his son, his home, how much he traveled and I was taken aback at how down to earth Andrew was, he was just like any other guy you would hang out with at a backyard BBQ. He was funny, intelligent and had the normal concerns just like everybody else.
But one concern he had over all others that day demonstrates, to me, what kind of man and father he was. Andrew asked me if I knew of anywhere that he could take his son the next morning ( his son came with him to St. Louis) so that they could go do something together that wasn't 'political'. After going through the usual list (Arch, Zoo, art Museum, etc) I finally suggested he might enjoy the famously haunted Lemp Mansion. Andrew seemed to like the idea and while I was invited to go, I couldn't (can't remember why) but some of my good friends like Dana and Chris Loesch, Jen and others were able to attend and had a great time.
But the fact that 'THE' Andrew Breitbart was more concerned with doing something memorable with his son rather than talking about politics, or himself, or making public appearances or anything else spoke volumes to me that day about his character and compassion as a human being and a father.
I will always remember Andrew not only as the New Media Icon he was, but as the caring human being and father that I was blessed enough to personally get to know.
Rest in Piece Andrew... You Will Be Missed..
No one will ever be able to fill your shoes..