In Memoriam: Vaclav Havel (1936-2011)

Playwright, president, and pundit Vaclav Havel died peacefully this morning at his home in the Czech Republic. He was a leading dissident in Soviet-dominated Czechoslovakia, a leader of the Velvet Revolution, and a founding father of the post-communist Czech democracy.

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Unabashedly outspoken in defense of liberty, Havel supported the war against Saddam Hussein in Iraq; supported Israel and the United States in an increasingly hostile Europe; and continued defending human rights throughout his political career and beyond.

The world was richer for his presence and is greatly bereaved by his absence.