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Coroner says Andrew Breitbart died of natural causes

Officials say the commentator, who died March 1, was a victim of heart failure and hardening of the arteries.

April 21, 2012|By Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times

Commentator and editor Andrew Breitbart, a polarizing website publisher who once helped edit the Drudge Report and found his way to tea party stardom in recent years, died of heart failure and hardening of the arteries, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said Friday.

Coroner's officials deemed the death "natural," and toxicology tests detected no illicit drugs or elevated blood-alcohol level in Breitbart's system.

Breitbart collapsed near his Westwood home March 1. He was 43.

"He was walking near the house somewhere....He was taken by paramedics to UCLA, and they couldn't revive him," Breitbart's father-in-law, actor Orson Bean, told The Times.

Breitbart spent his early professional life helping edit the Drudge Report and later helped launch the Huffington Post. In 2005 he started his own news aggregation site, Breitbart.com, which was designed to counter what he described as the "bully media cabal" that he said ignored stories at odds with prevailing liberal orthodoxy.

His death produced polarizing responses online. Conservatives lamented the death of a visionary, and attacked the tweets from liberals who seemed unmoved.

Breitbart is survived by his wife, four children, a sister and his parents, Jerry and Arlene.

richard.winton@latimes.com

andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

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