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Former Bush spokesman Tony Snow dies of cancer

WASHINGTON, July 12 (RIA Novosti) - Tony Snow, a former White House press secretary, TV host and conservative political commentator, died of colon cancer early on Saturday at the age of 53.

Snow was a familiar face throughout the United States, known in recent years for his lively, skillful sparring with reporters at White House news conferences.

President George W. Bush said in a statement: "Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend, Tony Snow."

It was "a joy to watch Tony at the podium each day. He brought wit, grace, and a great love of country to his work."

Snow served as a speech writer to Bush's father, President George H. W. Bush, in the early 1990s. He became White House press secretary in May 2006, a year after undergoing chemotherapy and having his colon removed. In March 2007 he took a five-week break as spokesman for an abdominal operation, and resigned that September citing financial reasons.

From 1996 Snow was a presenter on the conservative TV channel Fox News. After leaving the White House he worked as a commentator on CNN.

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