The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said it is awaiting the results of toxicology tests before releasing an official cause of death for conservative author and activist Andrew Breitbart, who died unexpectedly Thursday at age 43.
A source familiar with the investigation told The Times the tests are routine in a death of someone so young.
An autopsy was completed Friday, and the tests are expected to take several weeks.
“It’s standard procedure,” coroner’s spokesman Craig Harvey told Reuters. “We have a very young man who died suddenly and unexpectedly, so we want to make sure we cover all the bases.”
The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case was still under investigation, said officials are working on the assumption that Breitbart died of natural causes. A witness saw him collapse while walking near his home and said that he had no external injuries, the source said. Paramedics rushed Breitbart to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where doctors pronounced him dead.
“It looks like a heart attack, but no one knows until “an autopsy is done, Breitbart’s father-in-law, actor Orson Bean, told The Times.
“He was walking near the house somewhere…. He was taken by paramedics to UCLA, and they couldn’t revive him,” Bean said. “We’re devastated. I loved him like a son.”
Breitbart is survived by his wife, Susannah; four children; his parents; and a sister. The family has not announced memorial arrangements.
Sources said officials will also try to determine whether Breitbart had any underlying health problems that could have contributed to his death, a common tack in such cases.
Breitbart was a Hollywood-criticizing, mainstream-media-loathing conservative and shot to stardom with two stories in recent years: breaking the story over sexually charged tweets by former Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York, a scandal that led to his resignation; and posting a video of Shirley Sherrod, an employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in which she appeared to make racially charged comments, leading to her firing and then a subsequent apology by the Obama administration when it was later revealed that the video had been heavily edited and her comments portrayed out of context.
Sherrod released a statement saying: “My prayers go out to Mr. Breitbart’s family as they cope during this very difficult time. I do not intend to make any further comments.”
Breitbart spent his early professional years helping to edit the Drudge Report and later helped launch the Huffington Post. In 2005, he started his news aggregation site Breitbart.com, which was designed to counter what he described as the “bully media cabal” that he said ignores stories at odds with prevailing liberal orthodoxy. His goal, he often said, was to “destroy the institutional left.”
His big splash came in 2009, when he posted an undercover video in which a pair of conservative activists posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend asked employees of the community group ACORN for help with a brothel that would house underage Salvadorans. ACORN was embarrassed when some of its workers seemed too helpful; Congress responded by defunding the organization.
Breitbart’s mother-in-law, Alison Mills Bean, called him “one of the most genuine people I’ve met in my life…. He always spoke the truth of his heart, and no matter what people agreed or disagreed with him he never wavered.
“And he was loved by a lot of people,” she said. “And I know a lot of people found fault with his points of view … but everyone loved him. It is a great loss for everybody.”There was no stopping Andrew Breitbart from fighting the good fight with every fiber of his soul,” Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) said in Congress. “Goodbye and God bless, Brother Andrew. You are loved and mourned and ever remembered.”
Breitbart lived with his family in Westwood. He had been adopted by moderately conservative Jewish parents and attended two of L.A.’s most exclusive private schools — Carlthorp and Brentwood.
His father, Gerald, owned Fox and Hounds, a landmark Tudor-style Santa Monica restaurant that later became the punk rock club Madame Wong’s West. His mother, Arlene, was an executive at Bank of America in Beverly Hills and downtown L.A.
– Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Andrew Breitbart signs his book “Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!” Feb. 25 in Troy, Mich. Credit: Jeff Kowalsky / European Pressphoto Agency
Was Right wing Blogger Andy Breitbart murdered by FOB’s (Friends of Obama?) Chicago Style? Certainly the key elements were there – Motive? Opportunity? Cui Bono… Strange That Brietbart’s death coincided with a press conf by Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s revealing his investigation into Obama’s eligibility to run for President. (This has already been denounced as open racism by the liberal state run media.)
Like him or Not (we generally fall into the latter column) Mr Breitbart would have also been a major thorn in the side for the NEWER LARGER “Occupy” protests being organized now by powerful forces like George Soros’ OSI etc… Already being dubbed the AMERICAN SPRING. The “powers that be” want to bring down this country using these shallow heads, so easily manipulated by Money and access to power… As Kissinger, Z Big and Scowcroft have said, ‘America has had it too good for too long’. – I would guess that Breitbart would have been a problem here, as his investigations would rightly show the new Occupy Movement for what it is… a Full frontal astro-turf attack by the Fabians to end Free markets (what’s left of them) and divide and conquer the the USA.
Coincidence? This is all very suspicious, and we have only begun digging! ~ Jack
Flashback – Townhall.com
ObamaCollegeGate on the way? Yesterday during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Andrew Breitbart gave the audience and C-SPAN viewers a preview of what’s to come during the 2012 general election against Barack Obama. He said the mainstream media refused to vet Obama in 2008 and that he will not go unvetted in 2012. Breitbart says he has videos of Obama in college that nobody has seen. Considering he’s the man who took down ACORN and Anthony Weiner, this could be good.
Quote from Andrew Breitbart:
“I must say, in my non-strategic… ‘cuz I’m under attack all the time, if you see it on Twitter. The (unclear) call me gay, it’s just, they’re vicious, there are death threats, and everything. And so, there are times where I’m not thinking as clearly as I should, and in those unclear moments, I always think to myself, ‘Fire the first shot.’
Bring it on. Because I know who’s on our side. They can only win a rhetorical and propaganda war. They cannot win. We outnumber them in this country, and we have the guns. (laughter) I’m not kidding. They talk a mean game, but they will not cross that line because they know what they’re dealing with.
And I have people who come up to me in the military, major named people in the military, who grab me and they go, ‘Thank you for what you’re doing, we’ve got your back.’
They understand that. These are the unspoken things we know, they know. They know who’s on their side, they’ve got Janeane Garofalo, we are freaked out by that. When push comes to shove, they know who’s on our side. They are the bullies on the playground, and they’re starting to realize, what if we were to fight back, what if we were to slap back?” RIP Patriot