A Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for The New York Times, he also wrote the popular "On Language" column for the New York Times Magazine. His politically-themed non-fiction works include Safire's Political Dictionary, Before the Fall: An Inside View of the Pre-Watergate White House, and Plunging into Politics.
He worked as a public relations executive from 1955 to 1960, after working as a radio and television producer and an Army correspondent. He became a political columnist for The New York Times in 1973.
He wrote a speech for President Richard Nixon entitled "In Event of Moon Disaster." Nixon never delivered the speech.
He was born in New York City to a Romanian Jewish family and briefly attended Syracuse University. In 1962, he married Helene Belmar Julius.
After Nixon's 1968 victory, Safire became the president's speech writer; he also wrote speeches for Spiro Agnew.