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kate obeirne

A Conservative Role Model Gone, But Not Forgotten


The conservative movement lost a feisty, principled, and gracious friend this weekend when Kate O’Beirne lost her quiet struggle with lung cancer. A role model for young women everywhere, Kate was a fixture on the Washington scene from the days of Ronald Reagan. The devout Catholic, who was well known for her time on CNN’s “Capital Gang,” left a deep impression for her work at National Review, Heritage Foundation, and Washington magazine.

Many of us at FRC knew Kate well and admired her outspoken beliefs. We’d have the opportunity to catch up over the Leadership Institute’s weekly lunches, and FRC Action had the privilege of hearing her speak at our first-ever Values Voter Summit. As Jonah Goldberg wrote of his beloved colleague, “She despised modern feminism, but was no demure wallflower. She was what an earlier generation might have called a ‘terrific Dame,’ of the sort one might find in a Frank Capra movie. And she shared, along with her husband Jim, a Capraesque love for her country and its best self. She was a career woman and a devoted mom, a fierce ideological warrior and loving wife…”

But more than that, she poured her wisdom into the next generation of conservatives. “She mentored a generation of young writers, policymakers and politicians — particularly young women who simultaneously believed in “traditional values” but also sought to make a mark in the world in their own right. She modeled that balance in her own life with joy and wisdom and she helped countless others follow in her footsteps.” We send our heartfelt prayers to the O’Beirne family, recognizing that while Kate’s life is over, her legacy is just beginning.


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