Journalist, Syndicated Columnist, and Author. Known affectionately as Charley Reese, he is remembered as an American syndicated columnist known for his conservative views and was associated with the Orlando Sentinel from 1971 to 2001, both as a writer and in various editorial capacities. He was a staunch defender of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution and critic of gun control. Initially a registered Democrat, he became a Republican after John F. Kennedy was elected US President in 1960. He considered Kennedy a failed president, but his harshest presidential criticisms were reserved for his fellow native Georgian, Jimmy Carter. After the presidency of George Herbert Walker Bush, he returned to the Democratic Party because he considered Bush a "Rockefeller Republican". He was born in Washington, Georgia and grew up there as well as eastern Texas and the Florida Panhandle. As a youth, he worked summer and weekend jobs, and in 1955, he became a cub reporter for the Pensacola News in Pensacola, Florida. Later that year, he traveled to England where he took a job as caption writer with Planet Newspapers Limited in London. In 1957 he returned to the US and serving two years in the US Army as a tank gunner. After his discharge, he spent the next six years in advertising and public relations, including work as an advance man and speechwriter in various political campaigns from 1969 to 1971, including Florida Governor Claude Kirk. He then returned to reporting and worked for the Orlando Sentinel. On March 7, 1995 he wrote an article for the Orlando Sentinel under the title "Looking For Someone To Blame? Congress Is Good Place To Start," which was widely read and distributed in modified form via e-mail during the 2008 United States presidential campaign under the title "The 545 People Responsible for America's Woes." The article commonly forwarded in 2008 was slightly modified from the 1980s version, substituting Nancy Pelosi for Tip O'Neil and adding a reference to Iraq. It is not clear if he made the modifications, as was claimed in the e-mail. In 1999 C-SPAN viewers named him as their favorite columnist in a poll. In 2001 he left the Orlando Sentinel and wrote for the Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs and continued to publish columns for King Features Syndicate until August 2008, when he retired from journalism. In his final years, he devoted many of his columns in support of a non-interventionist foreign policy. He wrote two books, "Great Gods of the Potomac" (1978) and "Common Sense for the '80s" (1981). He died of respiratory failure in Orlando, Florida following a lengthy hospitalization.
Bio by: William Bjornstad