Sean Hannity Announces Fox News Host Just Passed Away

Bob Beckel, former co-host of “The Five” and longtime Democratic strategist, died Monday night at the age of 73.

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Beckel was born in New York City in 1948 and attended Wagner College in Staten Island. During his political career, Beckel served as a campaign manager for Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign.

Beckel’s faith foundation was recorded by aleteia.org:

“My faith has not been a burning bush, but a gradual turn to the Lord,” Beckel said. “I have taken a leap of faith. I see the possibility of faith.” Beckel is quick to add that God’s grace had a bigger hand in his conversion. “He wanted me to be here. I think my responsibility is help alcoholics. I have no doubt that luck would not have saved me,” Beckel said. Beckel was baptized as an Episcopalian but identifies as an Evangelical who attends a Presbyterian church.

His conversion extends to his politics. Now he is pro-life on abortion. “This probably came to me 10 years ago. I read the Bible and it’s very difficult for me to see that God wants us to be pro-choice. I’ve been affiliated with pro-choice groups. (Now) I’m on pro-life boards,” Beckel said.

He thinks partisanship has been carried too far and should be reined in. “I tend to believe all this polarization divides our politics too much. I don’t like polarization,” Beckel said. “I try to reach out to my friends who are Republicans. They’re God’s children just like me.”

He formed consulting firm Bob Beckel & Associates in 1984, and went on to manage Alan Blinken’s campaign for United States Senate in 2002. Beckel joined Fox News in 2011 and co-hosted over 700 episodes of The Five.

Columnist Cal Thomas shared the news of Beckel’s death via Facebook on Monday afternoon. “We did so many things together and I hope we modeled what two people of different political persuasions can be like when they love one another,” he wrote, in part. A cause of death was not specified.

Talk show host Sean Hannity also announced Beckel’s death at the end of Hannity on Monday. “We end the show with sad personal news,” he said. “A very dear friend of this channel and a dear friend personally… has died.” Beckel had appeared as a panelist on numerous episodes of Hannity from 2009-2017.

Beckel had an intermittent career with Fox News after first joining the network in 2000 to provide political analysis based on his years of work with Democrat politicians. From 1977-1980, Beckel served as the youngest Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Carter Administration.

Beckel was a mainstay in the media over the years, appearing on national news programs like “NBC Nightly News,” “CBS This Morning,” and “Good Morning America” and “Nightline” on ABC. In addition to Sunday morning news shows like “Meet the Press” and “Face the Nation” Beckel made quite an impact when he became a founding co-host on “The Five.”

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Premiering in July 2011 on Fox News, the show was meant to be a temporary holder for the timeslot after Glenn Beck left the network to begin his own media company, The Blaze. Joined by current co-hosts Dana Perino and Greg Gutfeld, Beckel helped usher the program from a five-week run to one of the highest-rated shows in cable news.

Beckel also spent 10 years as a columnist for USA Today between 2005 and 2015 where he worked alongside Cal Thomas to produce “Common Ground.” Thomas remembered his longtime colleague and friend on social media.

“We did so many things together,” Thomas wrote in part, “and I hope we modeled what two people of different political persuasions can be like when they love one another.” In addition to their column, the two penned a book together by the same name, “Common Ground.”

Beckel also documented his struggles with substance abuse in his autobiography, “I Should Be Dead: My Life Surviving Politics, TV, and Addiction.”

Abe Books review wrote: a deeply moving, redemptive memoir about his life as a political operative and diplomat, his long struggle with alcohol and drugs, and his unlikely journey to finding faith.

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Growing up poor in an abusive home, Bob Beckel learned to be a survivor: to avoid conflict, mask his feelings, and to lie–all skills that served him well in Washington, where he would become the youngest-ever Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and manage Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign.

But Beckel was living a double life. On January 20, 2001–George W. Bush’s first Inauguration Day–he hit rock bottom, waking up in the psych ward. Written with captivating honesty, Beckel chronicles how his addictions nearly killed him until he found help in an unexpected ally, conservative Cal Thomas, who helped him find faith, get sober, and get his life back on track.

Sean Hannity remarked that, despite their politics, “he and I got along great” and that his children referred to Beckel as “Uncle Bob.” Hannity said he had even given Beckel a key to his house. “He was always full of joy, happiness, light, sunshine. He loved God and Jesus and we miss him already. God bless you, God speed, Bob Beckel.