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Legendary Columnist Jimmy Breslin Dead at 88

Legendary Columnist Jimmy Breslin Dead at 88
Michael Dabin/New York Daily News

The New York Daily News reports that Jimmy Breslin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York City newspaper writer and author, died Sunday at 88. His wife of 35 years, prominent feminist activist Ronnie Eldridge, confirmed his death.

Breslin's persona was that of a gruff, cigar-smoking, Irish-American guy from Queens, New York, who could belt back booze with the best of them, and who was not afraid to enrage his own readers with sometimes acidic observations.

In spite of his curmudgeonly image, Breslin's writing was often renowned as movingly empathetic, especially toward his blue-collar readers.

Over the course of his career, Breslin had many memorable scoops, including his description of the man who dug President John F. Kennedy's grave, his columns on the notorious Son of Sam killer David Berkowitz in 1977, and stories about corruption and the Mafia.

He published over 20 books on subjects from New York politics to the child-sex scandal that rocked the Catholic Church.

Breslin had a regular column in the New York Daily News until the time of his death. The New York Times noted that until not long ago he "was still pushing somebody’s buttons with two-finger jabs at his keyboard."

He is survived by his wife, four children, and 11 grandchildren. Two of Breslin's children, from a previous marriage, preceded him in death.