Breitbart a 'brilliant ball of energy'
03:48 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Breitbart was known for posting the Anthony Weiner Twitter photos last year

He was also criticized for an edited clip of federal worker Shirley Sherrod

He was a star on the right and a villain to the left

Breitbart got his start at the Drudge Report

CNN  — 

Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger whose posting of a sexually explicit photo of former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner led to the congressman’s downfall, has died, his attorney confirmed Thursday.

He was 43.

Joel Pollak, editor-in-chief and in-house counsel for Breitbart’s website,, posted a statement confirming his death.

“Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles,” the statement read. “We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior.”

Ed Winter, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner, said Breitbart was pronounced dead 19 minutes after midnight at UCLA Medical Center.

An autopsy is planned for Friday, Winter said, but the Los Angeles Police Department said it is not investigating the circumstances of his death.

Compassion and politics: Strange bedfellows

Breitbart was the first to post Weiner’s infamous Twitter photos last year, in which the married congressman appeared barechested and in his underpants in pictures sent to a woman online. Weiner eventually stepped down amid the scandal.

Breitbart’s regular appearances on FOX News, his websites and his speeches to conservative groups made him a star on the right and a villain to the left.

Republican presidential candidates quickly responded to news of Breitbart’s death. Former Sen. Rick Santorum called him a “powerful force” who was “constantly out there driving and pushing.”

“What a huge loss, in my opinion, to our country and certainly to the conservative movement,” Santorum said.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tweeted: “Andrew Breitbart was the most innovative pioneer in conservative activist social media in America. He had great courage and creativity.”

And former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney called Breitbart a “brilliant entrepreneur, fearless conservative, loving husband and father.”

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