Former Fox News host Bob Beckel has died at the age of 73. Sean Hannity announced the news Monday at the conclusion of his 9 p.m. show.
“We end the show tonight with sad personal news,” began Hannity. “A very dear friend of this channel and a dear friend personally … Bob Beckel. I got a call from his son, Alex—a great, great kid—earlier today, that his dad passed away. What people might not know, he and I got along great. He had a key to my house. He was always full of joy, happiness, light, sunshine. He loved God and Jesus and we miss him already. God bless you, Godspeed, Bob Beckel.”
Beckel was the campaign manager for Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign. After years as a Democratic political strategist, Beckel joined Fox News in 2000 as a contributor providing political analysis and would later become one of the original co-hosts of The Five when it launched in 2011.
After co-hosting more than 700 episodes of the panel program, Beckel was dismissed from the show (and Fox News Channel) in June 2015. Of the decision to fire Beckel, Fox said at the time, “we couldn’t hold The Five hostage to one man’s personal issues. He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him.” Beckel continued to battle substance abuse over the years. Prior to his exit, Beckel had been out for several weeks.
Beckel returned to Fox News and The Five at the start of 2017. However, just five months after re-joining Fox News, he was fired from the network again, this time after making an insensitive remark to an African-American IT employee.
He never appeared on the network again.
“That is sad news. I had not heard that. I liked him so much too,” Laura Ingraham said right before the start of her 10 p.m. show. “He was one of those—I am in shock just learning this from you. He was an old-time liberal who you could fight with, but we always had a laugh afterwards.”
Hannity added, “Loved him. My kids would call him Uncle Bob. He would come to my house, and he’d be up at 7 a.m. smoking cigars and I had to explain to my kids why he was smoking cigars. I loved him. Godspeed to him. We miss him.”