Anthony Lewis, the retired, Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter, columnist, and author who wrote important studies of the Supreme Court and the First Amendment, died on Monday at his home in Cambridge. He was 85.
Mr. Lewis was a seasonal resident of West Tisbury, and a generous advisor to Martha’s Vineyard Times editors on First Amendment issues.
His wife Margaret H. Marshall, a retired chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, said death was caused by complications of renal and heart failure.
The law, the role of the press in a democracy, and the history and importance of the First Amendment were chief among the topics he explored. His column, called “At Home Abroad” or “Abroad at Home,” appeared on the Op-Ed page of The Times from 1969 to 2001.
An obituary published on March 25 in The New York Times described his writing as “liberal, learned, conversational and direct.”
“He brought context to the law,” said Ronald K. L. Collins, a scholar at the University of Washington who compiled a bibliography of Mr. Lewis’s work, quoted in The Times obituary. “He had an incredible talent in making the law not only intelligible but also in making it compelling.”
Mr. Lewis was the devoted father of Eliza, David, and Mia Lewis. Beloved grandfather of Miranda, Lily, Zoe, Thea, Evie, Beatrice, and Jack. Funeral services for the immediate family were held Wednesday. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Contributions may be made to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 330 7th Ave. 11th Fl., New York, NY 10001. www.cpj.org.