01/09/2012 09:02 am ET Updated Mar 10, 2012

Tony Blankley Remembered: Friends, Colleagues Pay Tribute To Commentator And Political Aide

Some remembrances of the late Tony Blankley, the columnist, commentator, former press secretary to Newt Gingrich and longtime friend of The Huffington Post who passed away on Sunday at 63:

Newt Gingrich:

"Tony was a remarkable life force... He was a wonderful friend, a sage adviser, and a man who loved life. He was deeply in love with Lynda and his children. He took more pleasure in her professional achievements than his own. Callista and I will miss him. Our hearts and our prayers go out to Lynda and the family."

Matt Miller, Blankley's co-panelist on "Left, Right and Center": "He was a rare advocate, wit, and mind....a true of a kind."

Aaron Goldstein, American Spectator: "He managed to write with firmness, clarity and conviction without being rancorous. Not an easy thing to do."

The Washington Times, where Blankley was editorial page editor for many years:

"He wore fame well and never stopped being a self-effacing gentleman. He was committed to responding to all of his correspondence and spent hours of each workday hammering away at the keyboard in discussions with cranky strangers who emailed criticism of his work. It was his view that it is the people who count in a democracy, and if their vote mattered on Election Day, their opinions should be respected every other day at a newspaper."

David Shuster: "Tony Blankley was great on-air, and even more compelling off. He was always warm, friendly, upbeat, and kind. Tony, rest in peace."

Joe Trippi, Democratic strategist: Amidst the partisanship that divides, Tony Blankley was a joy to discuss, debate and disagree without being disagreeable.

Jonathan Capehart: "We rarely agreed, but he was always a gentleman and a sartorial genius."

Frank Duggan, a friend writing in the Daily Caller:

"I once told him how much I enjoyed his Churchill quotes, and he humbly explained that 'there was so much to work with.' Tony's father, an accountant, had Winston Churchill as a client before he moved the family to California.

Noted for his sartorial splendor, Tony made at least one trip to London each year to visit with his tailors. The main reason I would watch the old John McLaughlin scream-fests on TV was Tony, as much to see his latest attire as to listen to his wonderful British expressions.

I loved the term "puckish," which he used but which could readily be applied to him. He was a gentleman.

Paul Begala: "A good man, warm, wise & witty. Washington's dumber, duller and even more sartorially challenged without him."

Mark Steyn, National Review: "He was delightful company, but he was also an incisive thinker with a great command of the long view, and he will be missed."

Lawrence O'Donnell: "Tony was a true gentleman. I recommended [him] for 'Left Right & Center.' I loved doing that show with him as well as 'McLaughlin Group'."

Mona Charen, National Review: "Tony was a man of integrity, intelligence, and good sense. Over the course of many years, I never saw him do a petty or mean thing."