Former Bush Press Secretary Tony Snow Dies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Television commentator and President Bush’s former press secretary, Tony Snow, has died of colon cancer. He was 53.

In a statement, the president says he and the first lady are “deeply saddened” by the death of their “dear friend.”

Snow had served as the first host of the television news program “Fox News Sunday” from 1996 to 2003. He replaced Scott McClellan as press secretary in May 2006 during a White House shake-up. Unlike McClellan, who came to define caution from the White House podium, Snow was never shy about playing to the cameras.

Snow served just 17 months as press secretary, a tenure interrupted by his second bout with cancer. He resigned in September 2007, citing not his health but a need to earn more than the $168,000 a year he was making in the government post. In April, he joined CNN as a commentator.

In April, Snow was admitted to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane for an unspecified illness.  He was there for two days before being released.  He had been scheduled to speak at Eastern Washington University before he fell ill.