Pundit Mark Shields dies at 85

ABC News reports that Mark Shields, the well-known political commentator and columnist, has died at the age of 85. 

The news of Shields’s passing was announced Saturday on social media by Judy Woodruff, the current PBS Newshour anchor.

“I am heartbroken to share this,” Woodruff wrote in her tweet. “The @NewsHour’s beloved long-time Friday night analyst Mark Shields, who for decades wowed us with his encyclopedic knowledge of American politics, his sense of humor, and mainly his big heart, has passed away at 85, with his wife Anne at his side.”

PBS Newshour spokesman Nick Massella provided further insights, stating that Shields died from kidney failure at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Remembering Shields

Shields joined PBS in 1988 after working for several local and presidential races. Before that, he spent time in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from the University of Notre Dame.

In addition to working for PBS, Shields also worked as a columnist for multiple outlets, including ABC and CNN. But, most will probably remember him for his work on PBS.

Shields was a regular on PBS Newshour up until 2001 when he teamed up with David Brooks. This collaboration lasted until 2020 when Shields called it quits.

Shields, during his 33 years at PBS, covered a staggering six presidencies.

“A magical combination of talents”

Woodruff released a further statement lauding the man who Shields was.

She wrote:

Mark Shields had a magical combination of talents: an unsurpassed knowledge of politics and a passion, joy, and irrepressible humor that shone through in all his work. He loved most politicians, but could spot a phony and was always bold to call out injustice. Along with Jim Lehrer and Robin MacNeil, he personified all that’s special in the PBS NewsHour.

Brooks posted his own tribute, which included the 2020 article that he wrote upon Shields’s retirement. Brooks called it “an attempt to capture one of the finest and beloved men.”

PBS NewsHour Chief Correspondent Amna Nawaz wrote of Sheilds: “Truly one of a kind. Mark’s intellect, wit, and heart were unmatched. I left every single conversation I ever had with him smarter and smiling.”

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