Journalist and political satirist P.J. O’Rourke (14 November 1947-15 February 2022) has passed away

16th February 2022

Our dear friend and cherished Grove Atlantic author P. J. O’Rourke passed away this morning from complications of lung cancer. A journalist and political satirist, O’Rourke wrote over twenty books on subjects as diverse as politics, cars, etiquette, and economics, including his two #1 New York Times Bestsellers, Parliament of Whores and Give War a Chance.

Patrick Jake O’Rourke was born in Toledo, Ohio, on November 14, 1947. He attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and graduate school at Johns Hopkins where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. After receiving an M.A. in English, O’Rourke worked at small newspapers in Baltimore and New York.

In the 1970s, O’Rourke became editor-in-chief of The National Lampoon, where he created with Doug Kenney, the now classic 1964 High School Yearbook Parody. He was the Foreign Affairs Desk Chief for Rolling Stone, a position that allowed him to expose the hypocrisies of world politics from the Persian Gulf to the Philippines. O’Rourke was also a regular correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, and his writing appeared in publications including Automobile Magazine, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Car and Driver, The Daily Beast, and The Weekly Standard.

In the early 1990’s he left Washington DC for his beloved New Hampshire where he continued to write. He was the H. L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute, a regular panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me, and editor-in-chief of the web magazine American Consequences.  He leaves behind his wife Tina O’Rourke and three children.

Morgan Entrekin, CEO and Publisher of Grove Atlantic said:

“P. J. was one of the major voices of his generation. He was also a close friend and partner for more than 40 years. P. J.’s loyalty and commitment to first Atlantic Monthly Press and then Grove Atlantic enabled me to keep the company independent. For that I will forever be in his debt. His insightful reporting, verbal acuity and gift at writing laugh-out-loud prose were unparalleled. From his classics Modern Manners and Parliament of Whores to How the Hell Did This Happen, a result of his dismay at the 2016 election—P. J. kept providing fierce, smart, always amusing reports on the American condition.  His passing leaves a huge hole in my life both personal and professional. My thoughts and prayers are with Tina and their children.”