It was with great sadness that I heard fellow conservative writer Austin Hill, age 51, had passed away on November 13. Even more well-known for his conservative talk radio shows, he was one of those unique conservatives who appealed to everyone; as more of an intellectual, he rarely alienated anyone. You didn’t have to meet him to sense his warmth and decency, although once you met him, you knew you had a trustworthy, honest friend for life. He wrote for Townhall for many years, and we had many great conversations about how wonderful being with the site had been for our careers.
Townhall’s staff wrote about him,
As faithful readers know, Hill brought a wealth of knowledge and passion to his work, which focused on small business ownership, economics, and entrepreneurship. Beyond his role as columnist, Hill was an accomplished author, consultant, small business owner, and a popular syndicated radio show host.
Austin’s family reportedthat he passed away from a pulmonary embolism. It may have been related to the incredible pace he kept up. As one radio fan of his wrote, “He was a Christian, a conservative, a radio host, a news anchor, an author, a columnist, a consultant and a public speaker. Whew!” Austin had recently expanded to writing for The Blazethis year, and had started appearing more often on TV. Watch him debate the left-leaning Alan Colmes on a Fox show here.
Austin had a knack for writing about some intriguing new topic that no one else was covering, in an analytical, cerebral way. I would read his columns and think, “now why didn’t I think of that?” He was also known for interviewing obscure up-and-comers on his radio shows, which no doubt helped their careers.
But what Austin will likely forever be best remembered for is his “PC Fridays.” Let me tell you, as a writer, I spend most of my time researching and writing, and can’t listen to as much talk radio as I’d like. But once I heard that special show he hosted every Friday afternoon with the equally talented Tom Liddy (son of G. Gordon Liddy), I was hooked, and found a way to make the time to listen.
Every Friday afternoon, for one hour of their regular show based out of Phoenix, the guys would begin playing an intro of obnoxious, new age nature music, which featured extra loud, drawn-out bird chirps that were painfully funny to listen to. Next, they would tell everyone to take long, deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling. Then, they would launch into an hour of gushing, breathy voices, pretending to admire the latest crazy left-wing venture, such as why it was so wonderful to use bicycles for transportation. You could not stop laughing hysterically the entire hour; they both were so gifted. Austin and Tom were a very interesting pair; both were younger, extremely talented, good-looking men. The Liddy & Hill Show catapulted them both into legendary conservative status in Arizona.
One quirky fact many may not have known about Austin is that he had a hair transplant in the early 2000s to cover his premature balding. It gave him a perpetually blond, all-American look, and afterward he nonchalantly ran ads for the procedure during his radio shows.
In 2010, Austin co-authored a book, The Virtues of Capitalism: A Moral Case for Free Markets, where he made the case for capitalism and free markets as the best and most moral path for a society, in the wake of the financial meltdown of 2007 - 2008 and the election of Barack Obama. Directed at the masses, not educated eggheads, it was intended to influence the average American, and hence was seen as a threat by many on the left. Before that, he wrote White House Confidential: The Little Book of Weird Presidential History, a quirky little book full of fun anecdotes.
Austin’s family has set up a fundfor his son’s college education. They wrote on his Facebook page,
Austin had a national radio presence with dedicatedlisteners across the country. Most importantly, he was a loving husband, and as his son describes him, an avid father.
After Austin passed away, I heard that he had been trying to get ahold of me two weeks prior. I’ll never know why. It haunts me to this day, but someday, in heaven, I will find out why. Conservatism has lost one of its best voices for uniting us and he will be greatly missed.