How did Michael Gerson die? WaPo columnist and George W Bush's 9/11 speechwriter dies at 58

Michael Gerson played a major role in developing the ‘Bush Doctrine', which encouraged preemptive actions against potential terrorists

How did Michael Gerson die? WaPo columnist and George W Bush's 9/11 speechwriter dies at 58
Michael Gerson helped craft President George W Bush's messages to the nation following 9/11 (Eric Draper/White House/Getty Images & @MJGerson/Twitter)
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WASHINGTON, DC: Michael Gerson, speechwriter for President George W Bush who assisted in crafting messages of sorrow and resolve following 9/11, died on Thursday, November 17 at a hospital in Washington, DC. He was 58. According to a close friend of Gerson, the cause of his death was "complications from cancer". Gerson joined the Bush campaign in 1999 after spending years writing for conservative and evangelical figures, such as Prison Fellowship Ministries' founder and Watergate offender Charles Colson.

According to Washington Post, Gerson played a significant role in developing the ‘Bush Doctrine', which encouraged preemptive actions against potential terrorists and other perceived threats in the chaotic months that followed the September 11 attacks. Together with his writing staff, Gerson crafted Bush's tone and style, including in speeches to a joint session of Congress on September 20 and the Washington National Cathedral on September 14. Gerson took a break from the demands of speechwriting after a heart attack in December 2004 and began working full-time in policy advising jobs. 

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With Bush's support, Gerson left the White House in 2006 to pursue writing and policy work outside of government. The next year, he joined The Washington Post and began penning twice-weekly pieces that helped him gain more prominence as a conservative. During President Barack Obama's two terms, Gerson wrote multiple articles for the publication attacking the president. He didn't shy away from calling Obama's foreign policy erratic and the Affordable Care Act's efforts to bring the country closer to universal healthcare shambolic. 

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Many paid tribute to the late speechwriter, including George W Bush. The former president wrote, “Laura and I are heartbroken by the loss of our dear friend, Mike Gerson. He was a great writer, and I was fortunate he served as my chief speechwriter and a trusted advisor for many years. His brilliant mind was enhanced by his big heart. As a result, Mike harnessed the power of the pen to not just write about good policy, but drive it….May God keep Mike Gerson and watch over his family.” 

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