Democratic strategist, and original co-host of Fox News’s “The Five,” passed away on Monday at the age of 73.
Currently, the cause of Beckel’s death is not clear. He’s survived by two children. Beckel was the co-host for “The Five” for over 700 episodes and published an autobiography back in 2015 entitled, I Should Be Dead: My Life Surviving Politics, TV, and Addiction, where he talked about his battle against substance abuse.
“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 … I will see you soon Bob. You are loved,” Cal Thomas, a conservative commentator, went on to say in a Facebook post.
Fox hosts paid tribute to Beckel following his death. During the handover from Hannity to The Ingraham Angle Monday night, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham called Beckel a friend despite their political differences.
Very sad news. Bob Beckel has died. One of the few liberal pundits you can truly like and respect despite political disagreements. pic.twitter.com/iexY8lai7X
— Kevin Tober (@KevinTober94) February 22, 2022
Former co-hosts Dana Perino and Eric Bolling also mourned Beckel.
RIP Bob Beckel. What memories I have of our friendship. More to come on The Five tonight. ??❤️ pic.twitter.com/AOiiHvYReS
— Dana Perino (@DanaPerino) February 22, 2022
R.I.P Bob. You will be missed my friend. https://t.co/dm8kZuVMHx
— ??ERIC BOLLING?? (@ericbolling) February 22, 2022
Early in his career, Beckel served as a politics professor at George Washington University. In 1977, he began work as a deputy assistant secretary of state for congressional relations. Following former President Jimmy Carter’s defeat in the 1980 election, Beckel became the campaign manager for Walter Mondale’s 1984 campaign. He then founded Bob Beckel and Associates in late 1984 before joining Fox News in 2000 as a contributor.
In 2011, Beckel became a co-host of The Five. Beckel filled the liberal slot on the show, which typically has four conservative co-hosts and one liberal co-host. When the show first began, it was meant to be temporary and only have a five-week run, but it remained on the network due to its popularity, according to Fox News.
“Beckel left The Five in 2015 for ‘personal’ reasons. He went to rehab to receive treatment for a prescription drug addiction, the Wrap reported. He then joined CNN as a commentator and returned to Fox News in 2017 to rejoin The Five. He was fired several months later over allegations he made insensitive remarks to a black employee. Fox News did not disclose what he allegedly said,” the WE report said.
Despite his absence from the program, The Five has continued to do well ratings wise. During the fourth quarter of 2021, the show actually managed to come in ahead of Tucker Carlson’s evening program, netting a total viewership of 3.3 million per day.