Mark Shields, veteran PBS NewsHour commentator, dead at 85

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Mark Shields, a commentator who provided insightful political analysis on PBS NewsTime for more than 30 years, passed away. He was 85 years old.

Shields died Saturday of kidney failure at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, NewsTime spokesperson Nick Massella told NPR.

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Judy Woodruff, NewsTime presenter and editor, also confirmed the news on Twitter writing: “I am heartbroken to share this. The NewsTimeLongtime beloved Friday Night analyst Mark Shields, who for decades impressed us with his encyclopedic knowledge of American politics, his sense of humor and above all his big heart, has died at 85, with his wife Anne by his side.

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Shields retired from regular segments in 2020 after 33 years on the program. He started as a columnist at the Washington Post in 1979, following a career as a legislative aide and speechwriter for Senator William Proxmire, and later Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign. Throughout his years at NewsTimehe gave insight into the administrations of six US presidents, the Persian Gulf War, the Iran-Contra affair, 9/11 and more.

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He also appeared in other panel shows such as Meet the press and Inside Washingtonand helped launch the UKTN series Capital Gang alongside fellow panelists Pat Buchanan, Robert Novak and Al Hunt. This series ran from 1988 until its cancellation in 2005.

Shields’ last appearance was in a February episode of Anderson Cooper 360.

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