Mark Shields, Veteran PBS NewsHour Commentator, Dead at 85

Mark Shields, a commentator who provided insightful political analysis on PBS NewsHour for over 30 years, has died. He was 85.

Shields died Saturday of kidney failure at his home in Chevy Chase, Md., NewsHour spokesman Nick Massella told NPR.

Judy Woodruff, NewsHour anchor and managing editor, also confirmed the news on Twitter writing, “I am heartbroken to share this. 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.”

Shields retired from contributing regular segments in 2020 after 33 years on the program. He began as an editorial writer at The Washington Post in 1979, following a career as a legislative assistant and speechwriter for Sen. William Proxmire, and later, the 1968 presidential campaign of Robert Kennedy. Throughout his years at NewsHour, he provided insight on six U.S. presidents’ administrations, the Persian Gulf War, the Iran-Contra affair, 9/11 and more.

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

Shields’ final appearance was on a February episode of Anderson Cooper 360.

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