P. J. O'Rourke

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Patrick Jake "P. J." O'Rourke (born November 14, 1947) is an American political satirist, journalist, writer, and author. O'Rourke is the H. L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute and is a regular correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, The American Spectator, and The Weekly Standard, and frequent panelist on National Public Radio's game show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! He is known in the United Kingdom as the face of a long-running series of television advertisements for British Airways in the 1990s.

He is the author of 16 books, of which his latest, Don't Vote It Just Encourages the Bastards, was released in September 2010. This was preceded in 2009 by Driving Like Crazy. According to a 60 Minutes profile, he is also the most quoted living man in The Penguin Dictionary of Modern Humorous Quotations.


Life and career

O'Rourke was born in Toledo, Ohio. He did his undergraduate work at Miami University, in Ohio, and earned an M.A. in English at Johns Hopkins University. He recounts that during his student days he was a left-leaning hippie, but that in the 1970s his political views underwent a volte-face. He emerged as a political observer and humorist with libertarian viewpoints.

O'Rourke wrote articles for several publications, including the Baltimore underground newspaper Harry and the New York Ace, before joining National Lampoon in 1973, where he served as managing editor among other roles and authored articles such as "Foreigners Around the World." He received a writing credit for National Lampoon's Lemmings which helped launch the careers of John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Christopher Guest. He also co-wrote National Lampoon's 1964 High School Yearbook with Douglas Kenney. O'Rourke said later that Kenney brought comedy to the piece and he brought the organization. The Yearbook was a bestseller and some themes were later used in the movie Animal House.

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