Mona Charen
The last time I saw Bob Bork was the Sunday before Election Day. His familiar baritone was faint. You had to sit close to hear him, and he seemed to have a little difficulty following the conversation.

At one point, his son Bob directed his attention to an Obama ad that was running on the Internet. It warned darkly that if Romney was elected, he would nominate Robert Bork for the Supreme Court! Bob, who has inherited his father's wry sense of humor (as well as his intellect), played the ad on an iPad. Bob Sr. didn't react at first, and we wondered whether he'd even gotten the drift. But then, eyeing it with the mischievous look he so often wore, he gestured toward the 25-year-old photo of himself. "Awful picture, as you'd expect," he said. That was the Bob we knew and loved!

Robert Heron Bork was born in Pittsburgh, Penn. He entered the Marine Corps at the age of 17 and served in World War II. He then blazed through the University of Chicago in two years (Students were then able to get credit for courses by taking an exam he explained later.). He pocketed a law degree, fulfilled his obligations to the Marine Corps a second time when the Korean War erupted, and then settled into a career in law.

Bork was blessed with two wonderful marriages. He and his first wife Claire met in college and had three children together. She was diagnosed with cancer in 1971. Her doctor told Bob that there was nothing to be done, that her case was terminal, and that he should keep this from her. He got her another doctor, and she lived nine and a half more years. Two years after her death, Bob married the second warm, intelligent and beautiful woman who would grace his life, Mary Ellen Pohl, a former nun. "Her parents were worried that she wasn't worldly enough to get married," he once recalled. "I reassured them that I was worldly enough for both of us."

The name Bork has become a verb because he endured the first of the vicious, libelous, character-assassinating campaigns that have come to characterize judicial nominations and other contests in which liberals feel justified in "lying for justice."


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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