2022 – American political commentator Mark Shields dies at the age of 85

© Reuters

Written by Rich McKay

(Reuters) – Mark Shields, a longtime television political analyst and union columnist in Washington known for his extensive knowledge of American politics, his sense of humor and his unwavering support for the Liberal Democrats, died Saturday at the age of 85.

His daughter, Amy Doyle, told the Washington Post that Shields, who provided insight into six presidential administrations, died of complications from kidney disease.

He is perhaps best known to the public as a PBS commentator, having spent nearly two decades on PBS NewsHour battling with David Brooks, a conservative political commentator and columnist for the New York Times.

NewsHour host and editor-in-chief Jodi Woodruff wrote on Twitter (NYSE:) that she was saddened upon hearing the news that “Mark Shields, who for decades has inspired us with his encyclopedic knowledge of American politics, sense of humor and especially the big heart has died.”

When Shields retired two years ago, Brooks devoted a column to his rival in The Times. “We’ve had thousands of disagreements over the years, but not a single second of disagreements. Mark exudes a generosity that strengthens everyone who comes to his light,” Brooks wrote.

A native of Weymouth, Massachusetts, Shields was proud of his Irish-American and Roman Catholic roots.

Before becoming a fixture in the political ether, dealing with conservatives, Shields served in the US Marines for two years. He attended the University of Notre Dame and then spent a decade on Capitol Hill working on campaigns for Democrats, including the nomination of former Senator Robert F. Kennedy for president in 1968.

Shields was also a frequent member of the Committee Inside Washington, a weekly public affairs program broadcast on PBS and ABC. Shields has also been a presenter and panelist on CNN’s Capital Gang for 17 years.

According to news reports, he died at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland with his wife Ann at his side.

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