The world lost a foreign reporting giant on Sunday. Arnaud de Borchgrave — irascible to the fools he did not suffer gladly, irrepressible in his zeal for his craft and always gracious to those who sought his counsel — died in a Washington hospice. He was 88.
Mr. de Borchgrave, the son of a Belgian count who eschewed aristocracy’s trappings, redefined foreign reportage over his seven decades in the business, having developed a base of sources arguably unparalleled by any single reporter to this day.
Arnaud brought clarity to Cold War coverage. He was on the ground for seven stints in Vietnam. His dispatches from the Middle East during Israel’s Six-Day War, and from dozens of other war zones, were as exquisite for their insight as they were for their prose.
As Newsweek’s chief foreign correspondent for 25 years, his access to leaders — to those good and to those thugs — was phenomenal.
Arnaud later brought credibility and influence to the fledgling Washington Times as editor-in-chief from 1985-91 and later took the helm of United Press International, for which he first reported after World War II.
Always an advocate for a strong national defense, he was a strident anti-Communist from his Center for Strategic and International Studies. His columns regularly appeared in Trib Total Media newspapers.
Today’s reporters could learn much from Arnaud de Borchgrave’s example. We know that we did. And we know that we shall miss him, acutely.