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Mark Shields

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Mark Shields
Photographic portrait of Mark Shields
Shields in 2010
Mark Stephen Shields

(1937-05-25)May 25, 1937
DiedJune 18, 2022(2022-06-18) (aged 85)
Alma materUniversity of Notre Dame (BA)
Occupation(s)Political analyst, journalist
Years active1962–2020
Political partyDemocratic
Anne Hudson
(m. 1966)
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service1960–1962
Rank Lance corporal

Mark Stephen Shields (May 25, 1937 – June 18, 2022) was an American political columnist, advisor, and commentator. He worked in leadership positions for many Democratic candidates' electoral campaigns.

Shields provided weekly political analysis and commentary for the PBS NewsHour from 1988 to 2020. His on-screen counterpart from 2001 to 2020 was David Brooks of The New York Times. Previous counterparts were the late William Safire, Paul Gigot of The Wall Street Journal, and David Gergen. Shields was also a regular panelist on Inside Washington, a weekly public affairs show that was seen on both PBS and ABC until it ceased production in December 2013. Shields was moderator and panelist on CNN's Capital Gang for 17 years.

Early life and education[edit]

Mark Shields on PBS NewsHour in 2016

Shields was born on May 25, 1937,[1] and raised in Weymouth, Massachusetts, in an Irish Catholic family, the son of Mary (Fallon), a schoolteacher, and William Shields, a paper salesman, who was involved in local politics.[2][3] He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1959 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy.[2]


In the early 1960s, Shields enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in Florida.[4][5] He was a lance corporal before he was discharged in 1962.[2]

Shields was based in Washington D.C. from 1965, initially working as an aide to Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire. Shields joined Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1968. He later held leadership positions in the presidential campaigns of Edmund Muskie and Morris Udall, and was political director for Sargent Shriver when he ran for Vice President of the United States on the Democratic ticket in 1972. Over more than a decade, he helped manage state and local campaigns in some 38 states, including incumbent Boston mayor Kevin White's successful re-election campaign in 1975.[2][6][7]

In 1979, Shields became an editorial writer for The Washington Post. The same year, he began writing a column which was distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.[8] He covered 12 presidential campaigns and attended 24 national party conventions.[9][10] He taught U.S. politics and the press at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy. In addition he was a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School.[8]

Shields was a regular political commentator on the PBS NewsHour from 1988 to 2020.[8] Anchorwoman Judy Woodruff announced on the December 14, 2020, edition of the NewsHour that Shields would be leaving the show as a regular analyst after its December 18 edition. During Shields's last regular appearance on December 18, Woodruff added that he would remain an occasional contributor to the NewsHour during important political news and events.[11]

Shields was the author of On the Campaign Trail, about the 1984 presidential campaign.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Shields married Anne Hudson, who is a lawyer and former civil service official at the United States Department of the Interior, in 1966.[2][4] The couple have a daughter, Amy,[12] and two grandchildren.[13]


Shields died from kidney failure at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, on June 18, 2022, aged 85.[1][2][14]


  1. ^ a b Schudel, Matt (June 18, 2022). "Mark Shields, columnist and TV political commentator, dies at 85". Washington Post. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Haberman, Clyde (June 18, 2022). "Mark Shields, TV Pundit Known for His Sharp Wit, Dies at 85". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2022.
  3. ^ Shields, Mark (August 18, 2009). "My Kind of Sermon". Creators Syndicate. Archived from the original on July 4, 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Kolbert, Elizabeth (July 14, 1993). "AT DINNER WITH – Mark Shields; With Sidekick Gone, The Pundit Next Door Still Guards the Left". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "America Needs More Marine Corps Values by Mark Shields on Creators.com – A Syndicate Of Talent". Archived from the original on July 26, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. ^ "Journalist Mark Shields shares award for civility in public life". www.boston.com.
  7. ^ Cynthia Littleton (June 18, 2022). "Mark Shields Dead: 'PBS NewsHour' Political Analyst Was 85". Variety. Retrieved June 18, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c "Mark Shields to Step Down as Friday Night Regular on PBS NewsHour". PBS NewsHour. December 14, 2020. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  9. ^ "Speaker Bio: Mark Shields – WSB (formerly Washington Speakers Bureau)". www.wsb.com. Archived from the original on November 7, 2019. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  10. ^ "Shields and Brooks on which convention was more successful, Clinton's failure to emotionally connect". PBS NewsHour. July 29, 2016.
  11. ^ Stelter, Brian (December 14, 2020). "Mark Shields, political analyst on PBS 'NewsHour,' is stepping down after 33 years with the network". CNN Business. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  12. ^ "WEDDINGS; Amy Shields, Christopher Doyle", The New York Times, September 9, 2001
  13. ^ "Mark Shields to Step Down as Friday Night Regular on PBS NewsHour". PBS NewsHour.
  14. ^ Kim, Juliana (June 18, 2022). "PBS NewsHour commentator Mark Shields dies at age 85". NPR. Retrieved June 19, 2022.

External links[edit]