The time has finally come for Steve Dunleavy—the problem-drinking right wing New York Post columnist who's been called "[Rupert] Murdoch's fiercest, most loyal and longest-running attack dog"—to officially hang it up. The Post is throwing him a retirement party October 1 (click to enlarge the official invite!), putting a -30- on a career that really wound down months ago due to health problems. They don't make 'em like him any more! Is what you say about guys like this. Let's take a fond(ish) look back at the life of "The Prince of Darkness," an angry tabloid legend: Dunleavy was born in Sydney, Australia in 1938. He moved to New York as a stringer in the mid-1960s, and made his way to the Post after Rupert Murdoch bought it in the late 1970s. In 1977 he found time to publish a book called "Elvis- What happened?", a behind-the-scenes look at the life of The King that came out just weeks before Elvis died. Hm. In the 80s Dunleavy was a lead reporter on A Current Affair, the Post of television.
He was famous for being a rabid right-winger—the type of man who figured that if you got your head cracked by the cops, you probably deserved it—and for being a lush. Some of the typical Dunleavy stories:
- "There was the night a blizzard buried Manhattan and Dunleavy, "reclining" with a young woman in a snowdrift outside Elaine's, and had his foot run over by a snowplow. Snarled Pete Hamill of the Daily News, 'I hope it was his writing foot.'"
- "Celebrated for first-punch fights at Costello's now defunct saloon and for sleeping overnight in a straight-backed wooden chair in the Post's city room when the paper was on South Street, in recent years Dunleavy has been favoring a booth at Langan's, a pub near the Post's current midtown HQ, for his recuperative overnight naps."
- Dunleavy hated Bill Clinton, and during his presidency loudly advocated for the release of Wayne DuMond, an Arkansas man in prison for raping Clinton's third cousin in 1984. DuMond was almost certainly guilty. But "Dunleavy also referred to the young woman, a minor at the time of the assault, on the record as the 'so-called victim,' and asserted 'That rape never happened.'"
- And a classic Dunleavy Gawker Stalker: "I was at Langan's on 47th at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, and Mr. Dunleavy was there. We only noticed him after he fell into some chairs and onto the ground. The hostess rushed over and immediately started saying loudly that the chairs were in his way (despite the fact that he was obviously sauced). He got up and then propped himself by the doorway, until a bartender came over with a glass of water for him. Dunleavy took it and left the bar."
He inspired a lot of outrage, but at least he was a character. Now that he's retiring for good, fellow rabid Post columnist Andrea Peyser is truly the Last Man Standing. We'll see you all at the party.