Bestselling Author of the ‘The Simple Life’ Book Series and Navy Veteran Gary Collins Dead at 52
The Political Insider team was saddened to learn about the sudden passing of our friend, veteran and entrepreneur Gary Collins, who had recently appeared in an interview with The Political Insider’s Brett Smith in September of this year.
Collins, 52, had passed away on September 3rd, 2022, but news of his death would not be reported until September 27th in the obituaries of The Daily Independent in Ridgecrest, California. Sources state that Collins had been visiting friends and family in San Diego at the time of his passing.
Friends and colleagues who had attempted to contact Collins during the almost three week long period were unable to and grew concerned with his silence. Indianapolis based conservative radio host Rob Kendall, who frequently appeared with Collins on programs such as The World According to Ben Stein and Collins’ own The Simple Life podcast, made the announcement to his audience after I had notified him, on his Twitter account late Sunday, October 9th, and on-air as well the next day.
Kendall’s audience was well familiar with the former federal agent turned “simple living” guru, who was a frequent guest on Kendall’s radio program on WIBC 93.1FM.
“Just found out that long time friend of the show Gary Collins passed away,” tweeted Kendall. “He was a tremendous guest and friend whose advice helped many people. Great member of the military who served his country in many ways. He will be missed!”
Just found out that long time friend of the show Gary Collins @SimpleLifeNow passed away. He was a tremendous guest and friend whose advice helped many people. Great member of the military who served his country in many ways. He will be missed!
— Rob Kendall (@RobMKendall) October 10, 2022
A Patriot and Advocate Remembered
After news became more widespread of Collins’ passing, many friends and acquaintances began to speak out in remembrance of the best-selling author.
“I’m so sad to hear of Gary’s untimely passing,” said entrepreneur, author, and media personality Carol Roth. “He had a big heart and I know his legacy will endure.”
— Carol Roth (@caroljsroth) October 10, 2022
Popular podcaster Marc Clair was also one of the many stunned by the news.
“This is incredibly sad and shocking,” Clair tweeted. “I only knew Gary from limited conversations but many of them were off-podcast. He really took the time to get to know people, for no reason other than his own caring. and the world has truly lost a great person.”
This is incredibly sad and shocking. I only knew Gary from limited conversations but many of them were off-podcast. He really took the time to get to know people, for no reason other than his own caring. and the world has truly lost a great person. https://t.co/qe1jShgf6u
— Marc Clair (@MarcClairShow) October 10, 2022
“Gary was the kind of guy we need,” said PR consultant and libertarian pundit Brian McWilliams, who had represented Collins in 2020.
Gary was the kind of guy we need. An eccentric, a pioneer, unapologetic in his opinions. Having had the pleasure of knowing him, I will miss his humor and his ingenuity. Considering the current crises in energy and housing, his insight is more valuable now than ever. RIP, bud. https://t.co/1Q8adVG2HS
— Brian McWilliams (@BrianMcWilliams) October 10, 2022
“An eccentric, a pioneer, unapologetic in his opinions. Having had the pleasure of knowing him, I will miss his humor and his ingenuity. Considering the current crisis in energy and housing, his insight is more valuable now than ever. RIP, bud.”
“I’m going to miss you my friend,” said Brian Nichols, host of The Brian Nichols Show.
“Until we meet again.”
I'm going to miss you, my friend.
— Brian Nichols (@BNicholsLiberty) October 10, 2022
The Political Insider’s Brett Smith provided the following statement after learning about Collins’ passing:
On August 23rd, I interviewed Gary Collins for The Political Insider for over 2 hours. Most of the interview consisted of the two of us discovering how much we had in common despite coming from two completely different professional backgrounds. That didn’t matter much given we were both born Gen X’ers and shared so much of the same childhood as well as the same outlook on America and life in general.
Once we wrapped we made plans for him to come back as a repeating guest for The Political Insider and I agreed to be a guest on his podcast. I felt I had made a new friend both personally and professionally and was really looking forward to when we would reconnect. I only knew Gary for a little over two hours but I’m grateful for those hours and honored to have been his last interview. He will be missed.
Collins’ Warnings For the Challenges Ahead
Collins’ ‘The Simple Life’ brand is comprised of a series of self-help books, podcasts, and online courses was based around his coined “three-legged stool”– financial independence, physical health, and “finding your life’s purpose,” three areas he felt were under constant stress from the complexities of everyday life.
He came to his points of view on culture, politics, and business after serving decades in the military and federal government as a special agent.
Collins’ joined The Political Insider’s Brett Smith on August 23rd and our video was released on September 19th, weeks after his passing and unbeknownst to us.
During his discussion with Smith, Collins warned Americans of increasing role the federal government played in our lives, and how basic American liberties being taken for granted were under the threat of being taken away by authoritarian elites.
Collins also spoke firmly on what he believed was intentional and far-reaching corruption within the Department of Justice and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies, whom he believed were more focused on the persecution of political opponents, such as former President Donald Trump, than the actual safeguarding of the public from criminal activity and true national security threats.
Dedicated to Serving Others
Gary Collins grew up in a very humble, working class life in the town of Lone Pine, California. After finishing high school, Collins made the choice to serve his country by enlisting in the Navy, which helped him eventually graduate from college and become a military intelligence officer.
After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Collins pursued a career as a special agent for the federal government, serving his time across multiple departments and agencies such as the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Food and Drug Administration.
Feeling he could have more of an impact in the private sector, after a string of other jobs which included being a college professor and health and fitness consultant, Collins eventually started ‘The Simple Life’ brand where he put himself out there as a public figure, teaching others how to live more independent, fulfilling lives through his books and other content.
Til Valhalla, Gary
I was introduced to Gary through a mutual friend in 2020. I was at a very difficult point in my life due in part to the draconian lockdown measures from the COVID-19 pandemic. Gary was exactly the person God needed me to meet during that time. He was a friend, a mentor, a collaborator, and all around awesome person.
“I’m going on a vacation for the first time in, like, a decade I think,” was one of the last things he said to me in late August right before he passed. He was looking forward to that and learning how to build an electric guitar from scratch. I even had a chance to finally introduce him to my wife shortly after we got married.
Rest easy Gary, your time serving others has sadly ended and your time to rest is now here. I know you have impacted the lives of thousands of people, most of whom you never even met. I’ll live the rest of my days always remembering how you positively impacted mine.
As we said in the military whenever we lost one of our own, “Til Valhalla.”
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