Olivia Wilde remembers her uncle, writer Alexander Cockburn

Alexander Cockburn, a longtime columnist for The Nationand uncle of actress Olivia Wilde, has died at age 71.

TV’s House and Tron: Legacy star tweeted about her relative’s death today. She wrote:

My uncle, the brilliant, kind, and hilarious Alexander Cockburn, passed away last night. He was my friend, and my hero. RIP Uncle Al.

Cockburn’s co-editor at the political newsletter CounterPunch, Jeffrey St. Clair, said his colleague died Friday in Germany after a two-year battle with cancer, reports the Associated Press.

Born in Scotland and raised in Ireland, he was the son of the British novelist Claud Cockburn and brother to Wilde’s father, Andrew Cockburn. In the 1970s and ’80s Alexander Cockburn wrote for the Village Voice. At one time, he also wrote for the Wall Street Journal.

In another message today, actress Wilde shared personal memories of her beloved uncle via Twitter:

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.