I had no idea he was sick. He battled esophageal cancer the past two years and died overnight.
Roger L. Simon posted an article about his friendship with Ron at Pajamas Media. Here’s a portion
We had a close relationship that came from a strange confluence of events. Perhaps the best movie that either of us worked on was the same one. – Enemies, A Love Story. But that wasn’t the real reason – it was politics. We had stayed friends after Enemies, as movie folks sometimes do when they have worked on something together that was successful, critically or commercially. We discussed other projects, but our relationship was fairly superficial then and gradually we drifted apart during the nineties.
Then 9/11 came and Ron and I were thrown together once again. We were 9/11 Democrats. We talked on the phone about our journey and the alienation we were feeling from some our friends, but we didn’t come face-to-face until the Republican Convention of 2004. I was a blogger there and feeling rather weird – an old leftie gone right – but there was Ron, far more out than I was, speaking to the entire convention. And he was brilliant. The man could speak in public as well as almost any politician and he had more intellectual background than almost all of them too. He swept the convention audience off their feet.
Ron and I renewed our friendship in the corridors of Madison Square Garden that year and that friendship became faster than it ever was. I think I knew better than most what he was going through in the political sphere, had some sense of his feelings when confronting his peers in the entertainment industry. He gave me tremendous strength. I hope I give him back even a hundredth of what he gave me.
Read it all.