Alexander Cockburn, editor of the political newsletter CounterPunch, lost a two-year battle against cancer when he died in Germany on Friday night.
Jeffrey St. Clair, Cockburn’s co-editor, said farewell to him in a eulogy published on CounterPunch shortly after Cockburn’s death. St. Clair explained to surprised readers that Cockburn had kept his disease a secret out of a desire to live the end of his life as himself, rather than as a victim of cancer.
Alex kept his illness a tightly guarded secret. Only a handful of us knew how terribly sick he truly was. He didn’t want the disease to define him. He didn’t want his friends and readers to shower him with sympathy. He didn’t want to blog his own death as Christopher Hitchens had done. Alex wanted to keep living his life right to the end. He wanted to live on his terms. And he wanted to continue writing through it all, just as his brilliant father, the novelist and journalist Claud Cockburn had done. And so he did. His body was deteriorating, but his prose remained as sharp, lucid and deadly as ever.