Charles Krauthammer passed away last week, and people who met the conservative intellectual remember a kind man who challenged people to think.
"I was always struck about what a decent man he was, what a gentleman he was," remembers Gary Bauer of American Values.
Krauthammer, who died at 68, announced recently that cancer had returned and he was losing his battle for good.
"This is the final verdict. My fight is over," he wrote.
Known in recent times for his Fox News appearances, Krauthammer was a former Great Society Democrat who would go on to win a Pulitizer prize for his Washington Post newspaper columns.
Krauthammer, The New York Times wrote in its obituary, "would marshal his arguments with logic rather than bombast and deliver them with polished prose."
Bauer, who met Krauthammer on several occasions, says he represented an earlier time in Washington, D.C. when people disagreed respectfully.
"Even when he disagreed with you," Bauer recalls, "he did it in a way that at this point is becoming very rare."
And there were significant issues to disagree about, beginning with Krauthammer's disbelief in God.
The longtime columnist, in fact, was no social conservative but often advocated for those positions. With abortion, for example, being a lapsed Jew by his own admission, Krauthammer had little spiritual guidance on the topic. He therefore felt unable to make the scientific determination of when life began and was open to abortion in some cases.
He thought, however, that Roe v Wade should be overturned because it was a horrendously crafted decision, and he thought it should be determined at the state level.
Political observer Bob Vander Plaats said you could never take for granted where Krauthammer would land on an issue.
"You never really could just say, This is where Charles is going to be," says the longtime conservative activist. "He made you think and defend why you thought the way you thought."
And that's what Bauer says will be remembered – and missed most - about Charles Krauthammer.
"If there's ever a Mount Rushmore of intellectual heavyweights in the conservative movement," he says, "I have absolutely no doubt that Charles Krauthammer would be one of the first faces that would be carved into the stone."