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Bob Beckel, Democratic strategist and former co-host of “The Five,” has died at 73.
Beckel first joined Fox News in 2000 as a contributor providing political analysis and joined the network in 2011 as one of the original hosts of “The Five.”
Columnist Cal Thomas posted Beckel’s death on Facebook.
When “The Five” premiered in July 2011, it was only supposed to have a runtime of five weeks to temporarily fill the timeslot. Instead, the show stuck and became one of the highest rated shows in all of cable news.
Beckel was there when “The Five” premiered with Dana Perino and Greg Gutfeld, who still co-hosts the long-running program.
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In 2015, he briefly joined CNN but later returned to “The Five” to continue his role as the show’s outspoken liberal. Fox News severed ties with Beckel in 2017.
Sean Hannity paid tribute to his “dear friend” on Monday night, saying “he and I got along great” despite their politics, saying he “had the key to my house” and that Hannity’s own children would call “Uncle Bob”.
“He was always full of joy, happiness, light, sunshine. He loved God and Jesus and we miss him already. God bless you, God be quick, Bob Beckel,” Hannity said.
Laura Ingraham called Beckel “an old-fashioned liberal you could fight with…but we always laughed afterwards”.
Before appearing on television as a liberal analyst and pundit, Beckel had a long career in politics.
From 1977 to 1980, Beckel worked for the US State Department, serving as the youngest Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Carter administration.
Beckel also served as national campaign manager for former Vice President Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign, where he oversaw the successful run for the Democratic nomination.
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During his career, Beckel has made appearances on “CBS This Morning,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Good Morning America” and ABC’s “Nightline,” Sunday morning news shows like “Face the Nation” and “Meet the Press” among other programs. .
He also co-wrote the “Common Ground” columns published in USA Today with conservative commentator Cal Thomas for more than ten years.
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Beckel had spoken publicly about his years-long battle with drug addiction, which he detailed in his 2015 memoir, “I Should Be Dead: My Life Surviving Politics, TV, and Addiction.”
He is survived by his two children, whom he often spoke fondly of in “The Five”.