President Ronald Reagan called Buckley "the most influential journalist and intellectual of our era." The National Review, Reagan said, "is to the West Wing of the White House what People magazine is to your dentist's office."
... Buckley was a serious student of the English language and was widely known for his large, polysyllabic vocabulary. A stickler for proper punctuation, he hated unnecessary exclamation points and commas. He loved sailing, skiing and playing the harpsichord. He made four transoceanic sailing voyages and had been to the South Pole.
William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, said in 1999 that Buckley "legitimized conservatism as an intellectual movement and therefore as a political movement. . . . For people of my generation, Bill Buckley was pretty much the first intelligent, witty, well-educated conservative one saw on television. "