Bob Beckel, former co-host of FOX News' 'The Five,' dies at 73

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 26: Co-host Bob Beckel attends FOX News' "The Five" at FOX Studios on February 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Bob Beckel, a Democratic strategist and former co-host of "The Five," has died at age 73.

Beckel first joined Fox News in 2000 as a contributor providing political analysis and rejoined the network in 2011 as one of the original hosts of "The Five."

Columnist Cal Thomas posted on Facebook about Beckel's death. 

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When "The Five" premiered in July 2011, it was only supposed to have a five-week run to temporarily fill the timeslot. Instead, the show stuck around and has become one of the highest-rated shows in all cable news.

Beckel was there during the inception of "The Five" with Dana Perino and Greg Gutfeld, who still co-host the long-running program.

In 2015, he briefly joined CNN but later returned to "The Five" to continue his role as the show’s outspoken liberal. Fox News severed ties with Beckel in 2017.  

Sean Hannity paid tribute to his "dear friend" Monday night, saying "he and I got along great" despite their politics, saying he "had a key to my house" and that Hannity's own children would call him "Uncle Bob."

"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," Hannity said. 

Laura Ingraham called Beckel an "old-time liberal who you could fight with… but we always had a laugh afterward."

Prior to appearing on television as a liberal analyst and pundit, Beckel had an extensive career in politics.

From 1977-1980, Beckel worked for the U.S. State Department, serving as the youngest Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Carter Administration.

Beckel also served as the national campaign manager for former Vice President Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign, where he oversaw the successful race for the Democratic nomination. 

During his career, Beckel made appearances on "CBS This Morning," "NBC Nightly News," ABC’s "Good Morning America" and "Nightline," Sunday morning news shows like "Face the Nation" and "Meet the Press" among other programs.

He additionally co-authored the "Common Ground" columns published in USA Today with conservative commentator Cal Thomas for over ten years. 

Beckel had spoken publicly about his years-long battle with substance abuse, which he detailed in his 2015 memoir, "I Should Be Dead: My Life Surviving Politics, TV, and Addiction."

He is survived by his two children, who he often spoke fondly about on "The Five."  

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