&to=http://english.pravda.ru/politics/2002/12/26/41406.html' target=_blank>Jack Anderson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning muckraking columnist who struck fear into the hearts of corrupt or secretive politicians, inspiring operatives of President Richard Nixon to plot his murder, died Saturday. He was 83.
Anderson died at his home in Bethesda, Maryland, of complications from Parkinson's disease, said one of his daughters, Laurie Anderson-Bruch.
Anderson gave up his syndicated Washington Merry-Go-Round column at age 81 in July 2004, after Parkinson's disease left him too ill to continue. He had been hired by the column's founder, Drew Pearson, in 1947.
The column broke a string of big scandals, from President Dwight Eisenhower's assistant Sherman Adams taking a vicuna coat and other gifts from a wealthy industrialist in 1958 to the Ronald Reagan administration's secret arms-for-hostages deal with Iran in 1986.
It appeared in some 1,000 newspapers in its heyday. Anderson took over the column after Pearson's death in 1969, working with a changing cast of co-authors and staff over the years.
A devout Mormon, Anderson looked upon journalism as a calling. Considered one of the fathers of investigative reporting, Anderson was renowned for his tenacity, aggressive techniques and influence in the nation's capital.
"He was a bridge for the muckrakers of a century ago and the crop that came out of Watergate," said Mark Feldstein, Anderson's biographer and a journalism professor at George Washington University. "He held politicians to a level of accountability in an era where journalists were very deferential to those in power."