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Robert Hughes
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    (July 28, 1938-August 6, 2012)
    Born in Sydney, Australia
    Art critic for 'Time' (1970-2012)
    Wrote 'The Art of Australia' (1966), 'The Shock of the New' (1981), 'The Fatal Shore' (1987), 'Nothing If Not Critical: Selected Essays on Art and Artists' (1991), 'Barcelona' (1992), 'American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America' (1998) and 'Things I Didn't Know: A Memoir' (2006)
    He said about his time in college, 'I actually succeeded in failing first year arts, which any moderately intelligent amoeba could have passed.'
    He was so high when 'Time' phoned to offer him a job as art critic that he thought it was a trick by the CIA.
    He named his son Danton after the French revolutionary.
    Some critics felt he gave a knee-jerk dismissal to post-Warhol modern art.
    He was one of the original co-hosts of 20/20 but got such bad reviews that he was replaced after one episode with Hugh Downs
    He drove on the wrong side of the road in Australia and ran into another car (1999).
    He was so upset at being fined $2500 for reckless driving that he declared it would not matter to him if Australia were towed out to sea and sunk.
    When interviewer Steve Kroft referred to him as the most powerful art critic in the world, he replied, 'It's rather like saying somebody is the most powerful beekeeper in the world.'
    Despite the '20/20' debacle, he hosted several popular specials about art for the BBC and PBS.
    The 1999 car crash left him in a coma for several weeks.
    Two of the occupants of the other car were later convicted of trying to blackmail him.
    His son Danton committed suicide at age 34 (2002).
    His writing can be wittily acidic, such as his declaration that Jeff Koons 'has done for narcissism what Michael Milken did for junk bonds.'
    He mocked the New York art scene in a poem, 'The SoHoiad,' written in the style of Alexander Pope's 'The Dunciad.'
    He was named an Australian Living National Treasure (1997).
    'The Guardian' described him as 'a mightier wordsmith than most of today's leading novelists.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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