Columnist and political pundit Mark Shields passed away at the age of 85 following an illustrious three-decade-plus career that included regular appearances on PBS NewsHour before his retirement in 2020.
Shields died of kidney failure at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, on Saturday morning, according to NPR. His wife was by his side at the time of his passing, according to Breitbart News.
Shield’s former PBS colleague, Judy Woodruff, paid tribute to him Saturday on Twitter:
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. pic.twitter.com/d68SZiGQJf
— Judy Woodruff (@JudyWoodruff) June 18, 2022
Woodruff praised her former colleague’s wit, which was evident in his criticism of disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) in the aftermath of his infamous 2011 crotch shot tweet controversy, which Andrew Breitbart broke the news on. Weiner craved media attention, Shields said at the time, and he slammed against the disgraced congressman for his transgression.
“The most dangerous place in Washington is between Anthony Weiner, a camera, and a microphone,” Shields exclaimed. “I mean, what the hell is a member of congress, who wants to be mayor of New York, having portrait galleries of his crotch available for distribution.”
Shields graduated from the University of Notre Dame and served as a U.S. Marine before entering the political arena as a legislative assistant.
One of the pundit’s first positions was as a legislative assistant and speechwriter for Wisconsin Sen. William Proxmire in 1965, according to “PBS NewsHour,” Three years later, Shields joined New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign and worked on numerous other campaigns.