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Mark Shields, longtime U.S. political commentator, dies at 85 -Breaking


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By Rich McKay

(Reuters] – Mark Shields, a TV political pundit who was syndicated in Washington and known for his vast knowledge of U.S. politics, humor, and strong support of liberal Democrats, has died at 85.

Amy Doyle Doyle, Amy Doyle’s daughter told the Washington Post that Shields, who offered insight on six presidential administrations and died of complications from kidney disease.

His most prominent role in the public’s memory is that of a PBS commentator. He spent almost two decades with David Brooks on PBS NewsHour, sparring with him about conservative politics and being a columnist for The New York Times.

Judy Woodruff (NewsHour anchor, managing editor) wrote that she is heartbroken to hear that Mark Shields, “who for decades won us with his encyclopedic understanding of American politics and his sense of humor, but mainly his great heart, had passed away.”

Brooks dedicated an entire column in The Times to Shields when he retired from the Times two years ago. Brooks wrote, “We have had many disagreements throughout the years but not a single moment of animosity.” Brooks said Mark radiates generosity and light that lifts up all those who are around him.

Shields was born in Weymouth Massachusetts, and was fiercely proud about his Irish-American heritage and Roman Catholicism.

Shields was an American Marine for two year before becoming a political fixture. After attending the University of Notre Dame, he spent a decade at Capitol Hill working on Democratic campaigns including that of Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.

Shields also was a regular panelist for Inside Washington. This weekly show on public affairs ran on ABC and PBS. Shields served as a panelist and moderator on CNN’s Capital Gang for seventeen years.

He was reportedly found with Anne, his wife, at his Chevy Chase home, Maryland.