“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,” Fox News host Sean Hannity said as he paid tribute to Beckel on his show hours after news of his death broke.
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
Reporter Cal Thomas, who worked with Beckel on the regular Common Ground column for USA Today, remembered Beckel in a Facebook post as someone who was open to those who harbored different views from his own.
“My friend and spiritual brother, Bob Beckel, has passed into the presence of the Lord he loved,” Thomas wrote. “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.”
“For ten years we wrote the ‘Common Ground’ column for USA Today and a book by that title. The name of his ironically titled autobiography is ‘I Should Be Dead,'” he added. “It is a highly readable book about a difficult life that was dramatically changed in the last 15 years.”
Born in 1948, Beckel launched his career in politics in 1977, when he worked for the U.S. State Department during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. The Hollywood Reporter reported that he then served as a campaign manager for Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign before forming the consulting firm Bob Beckel & Associates later that same year.
Beckel first became a contributor for Fox News back in 2000, and he co-hosted over 700 episodes of “The Five” from 2011 until 2015, when he was fired by the network for an alleged addiction to pain killers following a surgery.
“We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold The Five hostage to one man’s personal issues,” Bill Shine, then-executive vice president of programming, said at the time. “He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him.”
Beckel denied that he had an issue with addiction.
I just can't understand the anger in Fox statement. I was healing from major back surgery i could not walk, I took no advantage I got well
— Robert G Beckel (@RobertGBeckel) June 26, 2015
After a brief stint on CNN, Fox brought Beckel back to “The Five” in 2017, only to soon fire him again.
“Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,” Fox said at the time. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Beckel will be dearly missed by his former Fox colleagues.
“That’s really sad news,” Ingraham said to Hannity after learning of Beckel’s death on Monday night, according to The New York Post. “I liked him so much too. I’m just in shock, I’m just learning this from you.”
Beckel is survived by his two children.