WAMU 88.5 : News

Conservative Voice James J. Kilpatrick Dies

Play associated audio

By Meymo Lyons

James J. Kilpatrick, a prominent conservative voice for half a century has died after a long illness.

Kilpatrick died last night at George Washington University Hospital in Washington. He was 89.

In the mid-1950s, as a vocal supporter of racial segregation ,Kilpatrick become something of a national figure for his fiery editorials in the now defunct Richmond Virginia News Leader.

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board of Education decision declaring an end to legal public school segregation, Kilpatrick wrote, “These nine men repudiated the Constitution, spit upon the Tenth Amendment and rewrote the fundamental law of this land to suit their own gauzy concepts of sociology. If it be said now that the South is flouting the law, let it be said to the high court: you taught us how.”

But as the South changed, so did Kilpatrick, who dropped his fervent defense of segregation a decade later.

His newspaper columns were first syndicated in 1964, and two years later he left Richmond for Washington to write columns full time.

TV watchers in the 1970s knew Kilpatrick as the conservative half of the ''Point-Counterpoint'' segment of CBS' ''60 Minutes.''

His sparring with liberal commentator Shana Alexander over the Vietnam war and womens rights were famously parodied on ''Saturday Night Live'' by Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin.

WAMU 88.5

A WAMU Guide To The 2015 National Book Festival

Need some help navigating the schedule? We've come up with an agenda that highlights authors we’ve spoken with here at WAMU.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 2, 2015

You can plan for dinner and a show (for a cause) or check out a reggae concert.

WAMU 88.5

Europe's Ongoing Migrant And Refugee Crisis And The Future Of Open Borders

The Austria-Hungary border has become the latest pressure point in Europe's ongoing migrant crisis. An update on the huge influx of migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa and the future of open borders within the E.U.

WAMU 88.5

Environmental Outlook: How to Build Smarter Transportation And More Livable Cities

A new report says the traffic in the U.S. is the worst it has been in years. Yet, some urban transportation experts say there's reason to be optimistic. They point to revitalized city centers, emerging technology and the investment in alternative methods of transportation. A conversation about how we get around today, and might get around tomorrow.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.