Originally posted on glennbeck.com

This morning we all learned the shocking news that Andrew Breitbart, founder and owner of “The Bigs,” had passed away. As a 20-something conservative I was extremely sad to hear this news, because I have seen first-hand not only what Andrew did within the conservative movement, but how he made being conservative ‘cool’ for my generation.

I was first introduced to Andrew Breitbart through Glenn’s TV show when he and James O’Keefe broke the Acorn story, and the videos he would release on Breitbart TV. Glenn is right on the money when he says that Andrew was fearless. He would walk right up to anyone to challenge them on what they were saying.

Dana Loesch, editor of Andrew’s BigJournalism.com, was with him during many of his confrontations with the left. She described it best by saying, “Andrew was passionate for freedom; he was passionate for his family, who he was fighting for. He was fighting for something bigger than himself.”

All of the media pundits, journalists, etc. are writing about Breitbart’s breaking stories, his clashes with the left, all of his epic career moments, but it was his impact on affecting real change that made Andrew Breitbart such an influential figure, as well as a controversial one.

It wasn’t just the stories than Breitbart broke through his websites that defined him; it was how he broke them. Andrew Breitbart was completely unpredictable, which drove the left insane almost as much as how he couldn’t care one bit what anyone thought of him—on the right or the left. He spoke plainly, clearly and exactly as he saw it.

Andrew was a catalyst, a bulldog, a complete game changer. He sparked a generation of new media activists. He showed conservatives that you can’t beat the mainstream media without getting out on your own two feet and exposing them yourself. Judging from the absolutely atrocious comments coming from ‘haters’ of Andrew on twitter, it’s obvious that they’re still scared of him even though he’s gone.  Andrew would absolutely be retweeting the “hate” if he was he still here. They should be scared because Andrew Breitbart left behind millions of blogger and conservative activists that are willing to go out and expose the truth.

The left understands the power of the media, and Andrew Breitbart showed infinite numbers of Americans that the new media can be just as powerful as the mainstream media, if not more-so. Stories like Shirley Sherrod, Acorn, and Anthony Weiner, broken by Andrew Breitbart and his websites, were evidence that Americans do not need ABC, NBC, CBS, or CNN to control the narrative.

I got to meet Andrew Breitbart a couple of times over the last two or so years, and as aggressive as he was towards the left, he was just as grateful and thoughtful in person. Unlike people like Keith Olbermann, Andrew understood the importance of the little guy. Whether it is the blogger no one really knows or just some kid who thought he was cool, Andrew wanted to light a fire under them and motivate them to make a real difference in the conservative movement.

Something he showed me and my friends when he took a few minutes to speak with us at CPAC last year.

He stood by the people no one wanted to stand with, and brought us new conservative leaders like Dana Loesch and Brandon Darby. He wasn’t afraid to challenge the left, and would put himself in the line of fire to defend other conservative leaders.

Andrew died around 12:30 or 1:00 a.m. this morning in L.A. while walking outside his home. His father-in-law, actor Orsen Bean, told the L.A. Times, ”We’re devastated. I loved him like a son,” Bean said, “It looks like a heart attack, but no one knows until an autopsy is done.” His mother-in-law described him to the Times as “”one of the most genuine people I’ve met in my life…. He always spoke the truth of his heart and no matter what people agreed or disagreed with him he never wavered. And he was loved by a lot of people. And I know a lot of people found fault with his points of view … but everyone loved him. It is a great loss for everybody.”

This afternoon Rush Limbaugh said it perfectly, “You only get one life, and most people don’t get as much out of it as they could. It’s human nature. The reason is most people can’t stop thinking about themselves…Breitbart was outside himself. He was also a grateful guy and a thoughtful guy.”

All of those who followed Breitbart and his work know how much passion he had for exposing the the truth. It’s going to take a lot of voices to fill the void he leaves behind.

“He’s made everybody swords, and if you want to honor him, pick one up. He gave you all the tools you need,” said Dana Loesch.

Andrew’s CPAC speech this year is a perfect example of the tenacity he brought to the conservative movement.