WAMU 88.5 : News

James. J. Kilpatrick Dies at 89

Play associated audio

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 issues famously parodied on ''Saturday Night Live'' by Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin.

Mr. Aykroyd would proclaim, “Jane, you ignorant slut,” and Ms. Curtin would reply, “Dan, you pompous ass.”

Kilpatrick's wife, Marianne Means, also a former journalist, described him as ''a great family man'' and a cultural icon of his era.

Meymo Lyons reports...


Not My Job: We Ask The Choreographer Of 'The Lion King' About Lying Kings

We recorded the show in Rochester, N.Y., this week, which is home to the Garth Fagan Dance company. We'll ask acclaimed choreographer Garth Fagan three questions about really deceitful people.

Migrants Work To Hold Onto Latin Food History In Gentrifying D.C. Neighborhood

A restaurant in Washington D.C. that has long been a haven for Central American immigrants is adapting to gentrification in the neighborhood.

Graceful Losers Triumph, In Spite Of Defeat

One way or another, someone's going to lose on election night. And there's a graceful way to concede defeat, as Adlai Stevenson showed in 1952, and Al Gore did in the disputed 2000 election.

Voice Actors Strike Against Video Game Companies

The strike of the SAG-AFTRA union went into effect Friday after failed negotiations between the union's voice actors and video game employers, particularly over compensation and secrecy.

Leave a Comment

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