Buckley passed into eternity yesterday.
Here are some random anecdotes from his life, and quotes for your amusement.
Texas Governor Bush (Jr.) said in 2000, "William F. Buckley and I have a lot in common. When he was at Yale, he wrote a book. When I was at Yale, I read a book. When he was at Yale, he started a political party. When I was at Yale, I started lots of parties."
President Reagan said in 1985, “You didn’t just part the Red Sea — you rolled it back, dried it up and left exposed, for all the world to see, the naked desert that is statism.... And then, as if that weren’t enough, you gave the world something different, something in its weariness it desperately needed, the sound of laughter and the sight of the rich, green uplands of freedom.”
Chris Weinkopf, a former National Review staffer, describes how Buckley managed to stay prolific: "The one thing Buckley won't tolerate is idle time. When he gets a haircut, he brings a book. In a restaurant, he usually calls over the waitress to order right away, and then asks for dessert midway through the entree, so that no time is lost between courses."
In 1999, Buckley was interviewed for "Nightline" by Ted Koppel. "Mr. Buckley, we have 10 seconds left," Mr. Koppel said at the end. "Could you sum up in 10 seconds?" Buckley replied, "No."
In 1965, he was the Conservative Party candidate in a three-way race for mayor of New York. Buckley won 13% of the vote, more than any previous Conservative mayoral candidate. Asked what he would do if he had won, he said, "Demand a recount." In the same campaign, a reporter asked him, "conservatively speaking," how many votes he expected to get. "Conservatively speaking," he replied, "one."
Here is a list of the more than 40 books Buckley wrote.