William Frank Buckley, Jr. (November 24, 1925 – February 27, 2008) was an American conservative author and commentator. He founded the political magazine National Review in 1955, hosted 1,429 episodes of the television show Firing Line from 1966 until 1999, and was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist. His writing style was famed for its erudition, wit, and use of uncommon words.
George H. Nash, a historian of the modern American conservative movement, believed that Buckley was "arguably the most important public intellectual in the United States in the past half century". "For an entire generation he was the preeminent voice of American conservatism and its first great ecumenical figure." Buckley's primary change to politics was the fusion of traditional American political conservatism with laissez-faire economic theory and anti-communism, laying the groundwork for the modern American conservatism of U.S. presidential candidates Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan.
Buckley wrote first God and Man at Yale (1951); among over fifty further books on writing, speaking, history, politics and sailing, were a series of novels featuring CIA agent Blackford Oakes. Buckley referred to himself as either a libertarian or conservative. He resided in New York City and Stamford, Connecticut. He was a practicing Roman Catholic, regularly attending the traditional Latin Mass in Connecticut.