Mark Shields

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Mark Shields
File:Mark Shields 2010 snapshot.jpg
Shields in 2010
Born May 25, 1937 (1937-05-25) (age 84)
Weymouth, Massachusetts, U.S.
Alma mater University of Notre Dame (B.A., Philosophy, 1959)[1]
Occupation Political analyst, journalist
Known for Political analytics, journalism
Political party Democratic
Spouse Anne Hudson Shields
Children Amy Hudson Shields[2]
Mark Shields

Mark Stephen Shields (born May 25, 1937) is an American political columnist and commentator. He has worked in leadership positions for many Democratic candidates' election campaigns.

Shields provided weekly political analysis and commentary for the PBS NewsHour from 1988 to 2020.[3] 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

Shields was born and raised in Weymouth, Massachusetts, in an Irish Catholic family.[4] He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1959.


In the early 1960s, Shields was an enlisted man in the United States Marine Corps in Florida.[5][6] He was a lance corporal before he was discharged in 1962.[7]

He went to Washington in 1965, where he became an aide to Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire. Shields went to work for 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 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, Massachusetts, Mayor Kevin White's successful re-election campaign in 1975.

Shields became an editorial writer for The Washington Post in 1979. The same year, he began writing a column which is now distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

He has covered the last 12 presidential campaigns and attended 24 national party conventions.[8][9]

He has taught U.S. politics and the press at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy, and he was a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government.

Shields was a regular political commentator on the PBS NewsHour from 1988 to 2020.[10][11][12] 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.[13] During Shields' last regular appearance on December 18, Woodruff added that he would remain an occasional contributor to the NewsHour during important political news and events.

Shields is the author of On the Campaign Trail, about the 1984 presidential campaign.

Personal life

Shields is married to Anne Hudson Shields, who is a lawyer and former civil service official at the United States Department of the Interior.[14] They have a daughter, Amy, and two grandchildren.[15] He is a registered Democrat and lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.[16]


  1. "Profile: Mark Shields", NNDB
  2. "WEDDINGS; Amy Shields, Christopher Doyle", The New York Times, September 9, 2001
  3. "Mark Shields to Step Down as Friday Night Regular on PBS NewsHour" (in en-us). 
  4. Shields, Mark (August 18, 2009). "My Kind of Sermon". Creators Syndicate. 
  5. "AT DINNER WITH -- Mark Shields; With Sidekick Gone, The Pundit Next Door Still Guards the Left". 14 July 1993. 
  6. "America Needs More Marine Corps Values by Mark Shields on - A Syndicate Of Talent". 
  7. "Mark Shields, USMC. . .".;read=292241. 
  8. "Speaker Bio: Mark Shields - WSB (formerly Washington Speakers Bureau)". 
  9. "Shields and Brooks on which convention was more successful, Clinton's failure to emotionally connect". July 29, 2016. 
  10. David Brooks (2020-12-17). "Mark Shields and the Best of American Liberalism". The New York Times: p. A19. Archived from the original on 2021-03-06. Retrieved 2021-09-23. "After decades in journalism, Mark still puts the character lens before the partisan lens. He has been quick to criticize Democrats when they are snobbish, dishonest or fail to live up to the standards of basic decency — often infuriating some of our viewers." 
  11. Albert Hunt (2021-08-29). "Humorless politics a sad sign of our times". The Hill. Archived from the original on 2021-09-02. Retrieved 2021-09-23. "Mark Shields, who as a columnist, commentator and earlier a political strategist was unsurpassed for his keen humor as well as political insights, offers an explanation: 'Contemporary politicians lack the sense of self or the self-confidence to use humor. Every issue is of gravity, and any use of humor might suggest not taking the issue being discussed seriously enough.'" 
  12. Ted Johnson (2020-12-14). "Mark Shields To Step Down As Regular On ‘PBS NewsHour’". Deadline magazine. Archived from the original on 2021-02-23. Retrieved 2021-09-23. "Mark Shields, who has been doing a regular segment on PBS NewsHour for more than 33 years, will step down from the broadcast on Dec. 18." 
  13. Stelter, Brian (December 14, 2020). "Mark Shields, political analyst on PBS 'NewsHour,' is stepping down after 33 years with the network". MSN. 
  14. Kolbert, Elizabeth, "At Dinner With – Mark Shields; With Sidekick Gone, The Pundit Next Door Still Guards the Left", The New York Times, July 14, 1993
  15. "Mark Shields to Step Down as Friday Night Regular on PBS NewsHour". 
  16. "Maryland Voter Services". , type in 20815 for ZIP Code

External links

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