NEW YORK, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist William Safire died of cancer Sunday at the age of 79, The New York Times reported.
Safire was an influential conservative columnist for the Times from 1973 until 2005 and also wrote "On Language," a popular long-running series on the use of the English language.
He received the 1978 Pulitzer for commentary for columns aimed at Carter administration budget adviser Bert Lance.
The Times said Safire's personal assistant confirmed he had died at a hospice in the Washington suburb of Rockville, Md.
The New York native worked for President Nixon as a speechwriter and coined the phrase "nattering nabobs of negativism." He is credited with setting up the famed "kitchen debate" between Nixon and Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev.