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Olivia Wilde pays Twitter tribute to columnist uncle Alexander Cockburn

Actress Olivia Wilde has taken to Twitter.com to pay tribute to her journalist uncle Alexander Cockburn, who died on Friday (20Jul12) aged 71.

A longtime columnist for The Nation and editor of political newsletter CounterPunch, Cockburn lost his battle with cancer in Germany.

And it's clear he left a lasting impression on his niece, who wrote on Saturday (21Jul12), "My uncle, the brilliant, kind, and hilarious Alexander Cockburn, passed away last night. He was my friend, and my hero."

She added, "He taught me how to make coffee in a jar, how to listen to LPs, how to ride a horse through a river, and how to drive a classic with love."

Born in Scotland and raised in Ireland, Cockburn was the son of the British novelist Claud Cockburn.

The columnist was famous for his attacks on politicians, the mainstream media and his fellow The Nation writer Christopher Hitchens, who died last year (11).

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