Columnist Bob Novak was stricken with a malignant brain tumor and wrote of how it had changed his life. Novak, who was known for his conservative columns, received support from Ted Kennedy and his wife, Vickie Kennedy. He has had little good to say about Kennedy in his columns, but they were a support none the less. He mentioned that he had surgery at the Duke Medical Center, a hard thing to accept from a rabid University of Maryland fan. Novak went on to say that husband and wife journalists, Al Hunt and Judy Woodruff, two people he rarely agrees with, helped him with accommodations near the hospital.
Novak had been somewhat critical of President George W. Bush; but at 7:24 a.m. on Aug. 15, 2008, the president phoned him at the hospital, six minutes before surgery. Novak thought he had made many enemies with his bluntly expressed opinions but found many friends among those he had criticized. He believes those friends and his faith will help sustain him in his struggle.