Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Kent Snyder, RIP, You Will Be Missed

On Monday, I heard the sad news that Kent Snyder had passed away. Kent was a friend of mine, and that news came as a real shock to me. The last time I saw him in person was when he attended my graduation from law school in 04. I never expected that to be the last time. Life really is short.

Kent was a good man. The word that comes first to my mind when I think of him is "integrity." He was a man of great integrity, and from that came deep, deep courage, wisdom, kindness, and commitment to what he believed in.

He is one of the few people I have ever known who I would trust my life or the lives of one of my children to without question. He passed the "fox-hole" test, as in could you count on this man to watch your back and never desert you if you shared a fox-hole in war. I would have shared a fox-hole with Kent without question, because, though he was a very calm, quiet man, I knew he had the heart of a warrior, and had already made peace with life and death, and I knew that his first thought would be to doing what was right, in any situation, and that he followed through, every time.

His was a life sincerely and passionately dedicated to the cause of liberty. For all the time I knew him, his every waking moment was spent in that cause. In fact, as Ron Paul noted in his comments about his passing, Kent pushed himself so hard during the campaign that it affected his health. He literally gave his all for the cause of liberty.

I have lost a friend, to whom I often turned to over the years for sage advice and wisdom when I was feeling down, and the world has lost a warrior for liberty. Me and my family will miss him, and we send out our condolences to his family. God bless you Kent, and see you on the other side.

- Stewart

Below is what Ron Paul had to say about Kent:

In loving memory of Kent Snyder

The Freedom Movement has suffered a great loss. Kent Snyder, chairman of my presidential campaign, lost his tragic battle with pneumonia last week. Kent was a true lover of liberty. He was an American patriot. He was my friend. And, he will be missed.

Kent was a gentle man who carried himself with quiet dignity. While soft spoken, great inner strength lay behind his kind blue eyes. He was filled with conviction, and principles of decency, loyalty and respect ran to his core. Those fortunate enough to work closely with Kent were touched by his integrity and old-fashioned American work ethic. Stories of his youth in Kansas and lessons taught to him by his two greatest influences, his mother and father, were often shared with friends and colleagues. During difficult times, Kent was always a calm at the center of the storm.

I first met Kent in 1987 when he, as a young man in his late 20's, served on my first presidential run. Over the next twenty years, we worked together on countless projects in the name of Freedom. It was Kent, more than anyone else, who urged me to run again for president last year. I was skeptical, but he was much more confident that the time was right. Without Kent, I don't think it would have happened. Though he was an optimist, in the end, even he didn't expect what we achieved.

Like so many in our movement, Kent sacrificed much for the cause of Liberty. He sidetracked a blossoming political career when he chose to work for a third party candidate. He walked away from a lucrative career as telecommunications executive to work for me in Washington when I returned to Congress in the late '90's. Ultimately, he sacrificed his health as he worked tirelessly around the clock on our presidential campaign, ignoring the pleas of his doctors to pull back.

Kent poured every ounce of his being into our fight for Freedom. He will always hold a place in my heart and in the hearts of my family. We deeply mourn his loss.

I hope we can celebrate Kent's life, the wonderful man he was, the tremendous success of his contribution to the cause of liberty, and the bright path he helped blaze to a future where freedom springs alive once again. Kent should be remembered with every victory we achieve as we move forward together. Without Kent Snyder, the fight for liberty would not be where it is today. We all owe him a great debt.

In liberty,

Ron Paul


Kaye Bullock said...

Stewart, I have thought about Kent several times since I learned of his death. He left a strong impression on me when I met him at your home. He was a quiet man, but the force of his character was undeniable. He fought the good fight all the way through. Hooray for him. His determination to spend his life--- even to wear out his life in the cause of liberty, will doubtless insure him a place with the noble and great ones. God bless us all with the desire to do the same. My condolences to you and all who loved him.

Stewart Rhodes said...

Thanks Kaye,

Yes, that is the way to look at it - in the positive light, since he did do what he thought most important. Many people spend their lives in the rat race, and then regret what they did not do. I expect that Kent had few regrets regarding how he chose to spend his life.

Justine Lam said...

Stewart, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the exceptional Kent Snyder. I, too, had the privilege to work for him on the campaign.

Currently, we're trying to raise money to pay for his $400K in medical bills.

Can you add our Chip-In counter to your website or add a link to:

Thank you,

Stewart said...


Thanks Justine, and of course I will add the Chip in counter, if I can figure out how to do that. But at the very least I will add a link. And let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Why not do a money bomb? Or has that already been planned? Stands to reason, and seems fitting, to do that for Kent and his family.

And thank you for linking to my memories of Kent. It was great to read the blog Joe started to see so many people giving their thoughts and memories on Kent - he really was loved and treasured by many people who felt lucky to have had him in their lives.