Samuel Francis, a white nationalist writer who grew into one of the most important voices of America's racist right, died on Feb. 15 from complications following surgery for an aortic aneurism. He was 57.
Francis, a prize-winning syndicated columnist and former deputy editorial page editor of the arch-conservative Washington Times, was in recent years and until his death the chief editor for the Council of Conservative Citizens, a leading white supremacist hate group.
Francis evolved from a conservative to a right-wing radical over the years, writing increasingly for racist publications like the CCC's tabloid, Citizens Informer, and, more recently, The Occidental Quarterly. He described himself as a "paleoconservative," focused heavily on racial issues, and helped to turn the Citizens Informer in recent years into a major anti-immigration publication.
Francis' definitive break with more mainstream conservatism came with his 1995 firing from The Washington Times after conservative author Dinesh D'Souza quoted a Francis speech to a conference of the neo-eugenicist American Renaissance magazine. D'Souza described Francis' opinions as embodying the "new spirit of white bigotry."
After his firing, Francis increasingly focused on the dangers to American society supposedly posed by non-white immigration. He also criticized the Republican Party as essentially indistinguishable from the Democrats.
Francis joined the staff of the Citizens Informer in 1999 as co-editor with Chris Temple, an adherent of the anti-Semitic Christian Identity theology and crooked "financial advisor." Unlike Francis, Temple did not stay in his post long and, last year, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering charges.
The news of Francis' death inspired a flurry of eulogies by prominent racists. "What a terrible waste that this immense fund of learning and insight should suddenly be struck down!" wrote Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance, which has described blacks as "deviant" and "psychopathological."
Meanwhile, The Washington Times ran an understated obituary. The article failed to mention Francis' 1995 firing from the Times or his prolific writings for white supremacist publications, instead describing him as "a leading voice of traditional conservatism."