Actor, radio personality, and political activist Ron Silver died on Sunday morning after a two-year battle with esophageal cancer, the New York Post reports. Silver's public and stage personas have long been intertwined: On television's The West Wing, Silver played a firebrand policy wonk that switched parties. In his public life, the New Yorker was once a self-described lifelong Democrat, going so far as to help found liberal-leaning non-profit Creative Coalition in 1989—only to ditch the far left for the radical right shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Silver spoke in President Bush's favor at the 2004 Republican National Convention. His last public appearance was an October 2008 appearance on Larry King Live where Silver acknowledged Bush's shortcomings and spoke against the Reagan Revolution.