Alan Colmes, a host and commentator who had been a mainstay of Fox News since its inception, died Thursday after a brief illness. He was 66.
Colmes was the liberal co-host counterpart to conservative Sean Hannity on the long-running “Hannity and Colmes” program.
“I’m truly heartbroken at the loss of a dear friend,” Hannity said in a statement. He called Colmes “one of life’s most decent, kind and wonderful people you’d ever want to meet.”
A New York native and the son of Jews, Colmes got his start in the industry as a standup comic after graduating from Hofstra University in 1971. He moved into talk radio in 1984 when he landed a plum drive-time slot on New York’s WABC radio.
On “Hannity and Colmes,” which came to dominate the 9 p.m. slot among cable news outlets, Colmes was known for his reasoned approach and ample use of humor to express his liberal-leaning views on social and cultural issues. He was well loved by Fox News insiders, even those who were far to the right of his political perspective.
“Despite major political differences, we forged a deep friendship,” Hannity said. “Alan, in the midst of great sickness and illness, showed the single greatest amount of courage I’ve ever seen.”—Reuters