[Ed. – RIP to a distinguished man of letters and learning. The republic is poorer for his passing — but richer because he lived among us.]
Arnaud de Borchgrave, a retired editor-in-chief of The Washington Times, a celebrated foreign correspondent who covered 17 wars and became the confidant of dozens of world leaders, died Sunday at a hospice in Washington after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 88.
Mr. de Borchgrave was editor-in-chief of The Times from 1985 until he retired in 1991. He had been chief foreign correspondent for Newsweek magazine, a post he held for 25 years. He presided over The Times during a period of great growth, both in circulation and in influence at the White House and on Capitol Hill far beyond its circulation numbers. …
“Arnaud was a giant of journalism,” Larry Beasley, president and CEO of The Times, said Sunday. “His globe-trotting reporting kept America informed, and his tireless work as our editor-in-chief helped put The Washington Times on the map in its early days.” …
He pioneered conversations between heads of state, drawing them out on explosive international issues, beginning with interviews with President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt and Prime Minister Golda Meir of Israel. He traded stories and sipped tea with Pham Van Dong in Hanoi and as a houseguest of King Hussein in Jordan.
In his seven tours of duty in Vietnam, from the siege of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 through the fall of Saigon in 1975, he produced groundbreaking interviews with prime ministers, presidents and commanding generals.
His interviews also included President Reagan, French President Charles de Gaulle, the Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein, Benazir Bhutto and Moammar Gadhafi. “In a job that requires bluff and bravado,” Esquire magazine observed in a profile, “he has outrun the best of them.”