Buckley, the erudite columnist and author and an acknowledged leading figure in the development of modern American conservatism, said he would give up his controlling interest in the magazine he founded in 1954 to a board of trustees he had personally selected.
"The question is: choose some point to quit or die onstage, and there wouldn't be any point in that," Buckley said, recalling his retirement from his television program "Firing Line" a few years ago. "Thought was given and plans were made to proceed with divestiture."
Buckley's syndicated column will continue to appear in the magazine and editor Rick Lowry will continue in his current job.
The board, the New York Times reported Tuesday, will be led philanthropist and National Review President Thomas L. "Dusty" Rhodes. Board members include humorist Christopher Buckley, the founder's son; former U.S. ambassador to France, Evan Galbraith; former Federal Trade Commissioner head, Daniel Oliver; and Austin Bramwell, a 2000 graduate of Yale and one of the magazine's youngest current contributors.