P.J. O’Rourke, Ex-National Lampoon Editor and Legendary Journalist, Dies at 74

The humorist and political commentator’s books included the bestsellers “Holidays in Hell” and “Give War a Chance”

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Former editor of the National Lampoon and legendary satirical writer and journalist Patrick P.J. O’Rourke has died. He was 74.

Peter Sagal, host of the NPR game show “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me!” on which O’Rourke served as a regular panelist, confirmed the news via Twitter.

“I’m afraid it’s true. Our panelist and my dear friend PJ O’Rourke has passed away,” Sagal’s tweet reads. “More later.”

Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, O’Rourke graduated from Miami University in 1969 with his undergraduate degree, heading to Johns Hopkins University the next year where he received his M.A. in English.

In 1973, he joined the National Lampoon, where he later became editor-in-chief. He continued his career in journalism, becoming a correspondent and right-leaning political commentator for The Atlantic Monthly, The American Spectator and The Weekly Standard.

He also frequented the NPR Game Show “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me!” as a panelist in addition to writing columns for The Daily Beast.

O’Rourke wrote 20 books — the most well-known being “Holidays in Hell,” a collection of his articles as a freelance foreign correspondent — in which he analyzed growing sociopolitical concerns such as global warming and famine with libertarian commentary. Other bestsellers include “Parliament of Whores” and “Give War a Chance.”

The writer is survived by his wife Tina, two daughters, Elizabeth and Olivia, and son, Clifford.

Tributes to the journalist came from all corners of the world, many taking to Twitter to share their impressions of the late writer.

CNN’s Jake Tapper remarked on the news, writing “What a loss; great guy. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson also expressed her memory of O’Rourke in a Tweet that reads, “I adored PJ O’Rourke. As charming and scintillatingly witty in person as on the page. His reporting had an expansive generosity to it. RIP”

Ben Shapiro also mourned the loss on Twitter.

“PJ O’Rourke was an incredible wordsmith, perhaps the funniest writer of the last forty years, and a good person, too. RIP,” Shapiro wrote.

For the record: A previous version of this story incorrectly described O’Rourke’s contributions to “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me.”