Alexander Cockburn, RIP
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The leftwing journalist Alexander Cockburn has died of cancer, age 71. 

He came from an extended family that displayed, over quite a few generations, extraordinary talent and pluck at making a living by writing, both in the Cockburn wing and the Waugh wing.  For example, the Wikipedia entry for Henry Cockburn (1779-1854), judge and man of letters (friend of Sir Walter Scott, Henry Brougham, and Francis Jeffrey), notes:

The authors Alec Waugh and Evelyn Waugh, the journalist Claud CockburnClaudia Cockburn (wife of actor Michael Flanders) and author Sarah Caudwell were all descended from Cockburn, as are journalists Laura FlandersStephanie Flanders,Alexander Cockburn (husband of author Emma Tennant), Andrew Cockburn(husband of journalist Leslie Cockburn) and Patrick Cockburn (son-in-law of BishopHugh Montefiore) and actress Olivia Wilde (former wife of Tao Ruspoli).


(Here's Claud Cockburn's superb essay about his first cousin Evelyn Waugh.)

As an American journalist, it seems almost hopeless trying to compete with that kind of nature and nurture.
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