I was at a bat mitzvah this weekend. The rabbi said that when a person dies, the most important part of the birth and death dates is the hyphen between the dates, because that represents what the person accomplished during his lifetime.
William Safire accomplished much. Among other things, he was a political columnist for the New York Times. And he contributed to "On Language," a New York Times Magazine column about words and language.
Two things he wrote that I'd like to share are:
1. His "Rules for Writers."
2. His column, "Never Retire."