P. J. O'Rourke

P. J. O'Rourke was an American humorist, political satirist, journalist and author. He authored over 20 books, with Holidays in Hell (1988) standing out, exploring war zones as a foreign correspondent.

Patrick Jake O'Rourke was born in Toledo, Ohio. He is the son of Delphine (née Loy), a housewife, and Clifford Bronson O'Rourke, a car salesman. Originally from County Roscommon, O'Rourke graduated from DeVilbiss High School in 1965. Originally a leftist hippie, he became a libertarian conservative while attending Miami University.

O'Rourke's writing career ignited in the 1970s after he completed his education at Johns Hopkins University. He co-wrote National Lampoon's 1964 High School Yearbook with Douglas Kenney. This work inspired the iconic comedy Animal House, which launched the career of John Belushi.

Freelancing from 1981, O'Rourke's wit graced publications like Playboy, Vanity Fair, and Rolling Stone. As Rolling Stone's foreign affairs desk chief until 2001, he navigated geopolitics with humour, even referring to the American public's indifference to the Bosnian genocide.

A literary triumph for P. J. O'Rourke is Holidays in Hell, published in 1988. This captivating work delves into O'Rourke's experiences as a foreign correspondent in various global conflict zones. Through his sharp wit and unfiltered observations, O'Rourke explores the darker corners of the globe. Also, Parliament of Whores (1991) and Give War a Chance (1992) topped The New York Times Best Seller list, showcasing his ability to dissect politics with unparalleled wit.

A voice of the baby boomer generation, O'Rourke's recurrent theme reflected on their impact. In the UK, he became the face of a long-running series of television advertisements for British Airways in the 1990s.

In 2009, he humorously dubbed Obama's early presidency "the Carter administration in better sweaters." Despite endorsing Hillary Clinton in 2016, he candidly critiqued her flaws.

P. J. O’Rourke passed away from complications of lung cancer at 74, leaving a legacy of humour and insight that transcended generations.

Photo credit: James Kegley.
years of life: 14 novembro 1947 15 fevereiro 2022
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