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Joe Sobran
Fran Griffin
Griffin Communications
Managing Editor /

Ronald N. Neff


Publisher’s Note
Tribute to Sam Francis

(Expanded from SOBRANS, February 2005; page 2;
with photos, links, and readers’ comments)

“A nation, or even a planet, that recognizes no god other than its belly will quickly start wallowing in the ignorance, crime, corruption, and avarice that today afflicts the United States, and it will find itself unable to free itself of them.”
— Sam Francis
“This Land Ain’t Your Land”

What can I say
in a few words of a friend of nearly 30 years who was abruptly taken away from us at the still energetic age of 57? My dear friend — a loyal compatriot of SOBRANS — columnist and author Dr. Samuel T. Francis died suddenly on February 15.

We met in Washington, D.C., while we were both working on Capitol Hill. Sam was the terrorism expert for the Heritage Foundation while completing his doctorate in modern history from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). From there he went to work as legislative assistant for national security affairs for Senator John P. East (R-N.C.).

After Senator East’s death, Sam was hired by the Washington Times in 1986, first as an editorial writer and resident staff columnist, and later as deputy editor of the editorial page. I had the honor of accompanying him to a banquet of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, where he received — two years in a row — the Distinguished Writing Award for Editorial Writing in 1989 and 1990. He stayed at the Times for nine years until he was abruptly fired for speaking (on his own time) at an American Renaissance Conference. The comments in his speech were not at issue. The newspaper objected to his having appeared at the gathering.

Sam had been a syndicated columnist for the Tribune Media Syndicate for many years. When his contract was not renewed, he was carried for a short time by my Griffin Internet Syndicate until he landed a contract with Creators Syndicate, which also offers the column of his close friend, Pat Buchanan. Sam was an advisor to Buchanan during his presidential bids and greatly influenced his thinking and policies.

Sam wrote several books, including Power and History: The Political Thought of James Burnham (1984); Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism (1993); Revolution from the Middle: Essays and Articles from Chronicles, 1989–1996 (1997); and Thinkers of Our Time: James Burnham (1999), a revised and expanded edition of his earlier book. His many articles and studies of international and domestic terrorism include his influential book, The Soviet Strategy of Terror (1981; rev. ed., 1985).

Sam published articles or reviews in a number of newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, USA Today, National Review, The Spectator (London), The New American, The Occidental Quarterly, and Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, of which he was political editor and for which he wrote a monthly column, “Principalities and Powers.”

Brilliant and witty, Sam could have me laughing in no time by a clever turn of a phrase. He had just signed on as an advisor and resident scholar of our new Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. In addition Griffin Communications was slated to arrange promotion for the new book he just finished editing, Race and the American Future (Washington Summit Publishers, 2005).

SOBRANS was privileged to have Sam present his talk “Unpatriotic Neoconservatives” at our annual anniversary event on December 4, 2004. An audio tape of the event is available and the video is in production.

As our hope is in the saving power of Our Lord, we pray for the eternal rest of our good friend, Sam Francis.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fran Griffin

Photos from the 2004 SOBRANS Charter Subscribers’ Dinner:

Click on thumbnail images to see the larger image.

Other tributes by: Joe Sobran (his tribute to Sam — from his February 24 Washington Watch column in The Wanderer)
Joe Sobran (his reply to critics who waited to attack Sam until he could no longer reply — from his March 3 Washington Watch column in The Wanderer)
Dan Flynn of The Flynn Files
Tom Fleming of Chronicles magazine.
Jared Taylor of American Renaissance
Peter Brimelow of
Jerry Woodruff of Middle American News
Paul Gottfried of Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania
Washington Post, February 26, 2005 
Pat Buchanan in The American Cause
Sarah Knox Taylor of The Last Ditch
Ron Smith of WBAL in Baltimore
Marcus Epstein at

Some Comments from Our Readers

“He was a very important man. What a genius — yet so unappreciated!”
— Howard Phillips
Conservative Caucus

“What a loss for liberty!”
— B&CQ
SOBRANS Charter subscribers

“An inspirational thinker, an influential activist, he was an impressive intellectual and effective grassroots leader. A living testament to his memory must be our continued commitment to his values and vision.”
— Peter Gemma

“I think of Sam Francis and Joe Sobran as being pillars of the ‘real conservative movement,’ not the counterfeit one that occupies positions of power today. They are similar in that both paid a price for stating unpopular truths. Now, one of the pillars in gone and the rest of us will have to go on as best we can, knowing that someone irreplaceable has left us.”
— DC
SOBRANS Charter subscriber

“Although I never had the honor of meeting him in person nevertheless I do truly feel a great loss at the passing of Sam Francis. I did think I knew him pretty well — or he me — because he was always so able to articulate sentiments and beliefs I carried inside and was never able to express so clearly, so well, so pleasantly. Because of him I do feel I was able to become a better American, historically, philosophically, intellectually. Because of him years ago — everyone will tell you — I wore Adam Smith neckties and an American flag label pin. Because of him I changed my membership from the Stupid Party to Non-Party Affiliated and was (now) able to criticize both sides. But not nearly so well as he. Because of him I had an anchor in a welcome port. I know that America has lost one of her best. I know he died of a broken heart.”
— Don F. Ridgway
Tampa, Florida

“My wife and I recently had the distinct pleasure of attending a meeting where Sam Francis was the sole speaker. When truth becomes an elusive entity in a society, knowledge of truth and the courage to speak it are sometimes mutually exclusive. Mr. Francis demonstrated both. His passing will indeed leave a void in the struggles to defend morality and common sense in government and our daily lives. He will indeed be missed.”
— Gary Gillespie, M.D.

“Thank you so much for letting me know. We will light a 7-day votive candle for Sam at Vespers tonight, and remember him in our prayers. As we pray in the Orthodox Church, ‘May his memory be eternal,’ meaning, may he be kept alive in God’s eternal memory. My prayers are for you guys too.”
— Monk Andrew

“Sam Francis was very much like a great surgeon. He brilliantly analyzed the many and varied geo-political cancers eating at the body-politic and then attacked them with a scalpel — his pen — and exposed the rotting areas as threats to the survival of Western Christian Civilization. I shall miss this gifted friend who so fearlessly confronted and, with a few choice phrases, decimated the neo-cons and politically correct liberals as self-serving hypocrites.”
— Bob Goldsborough
Editor/Publisher of Washington Dateline

“Sam Francis’s name on an article was always a bright signal to me that a reading treat was ahead. It truly was a shock to hear of his death. What a sad loss.”
— MM

“The most precious thing we have is the truth, and one of the rarest things we have is men willing to know and speak the truth. Sam Francis was one of those rare men. Like his mentor, John East, and like another great Southern patriot, Mel Bradford, Sam is too soon taken from us. May his example inspire a new generation to raise up the standard.”
— Henry Braddock

“Even when I vehemently disagreed with Sam’s columns, I always enjoyed his writing style. He was one of the most preceptive analysts of how the official right had neoconned the Middle Americans who constitute the Right’s base into supporting a phony conservative agenda that paid lip service to limited government, national sovereignty, and traditional values while advancing the welfare-warfare state and globaloney. Sam’s quick and sharp wit also made him a delightful dinner companion. He will be missed.”
— Norman Kirk Singleton
Legislative Director
Congressman Ron Paul

“Samuel Francis always had an interesting take on current events and his writings never failed to enlighten or inform. He was one of my favorite writers, in the same league as Joseph Sobran, Patrick Buchanan, William Norman Grigg, and Thomas Fleming. The conservative movement deeply mourns his loss.”
— David Yuers
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