Liberal commentator and former MSNBC host Ed Schultz has passed away at the age of 64.
Fargo ABC affiliate WDAY-TV broke the news Thursday, citing sources who say Schultz died of natural causes.
Schultz's employer, Russian government-owned cable network RT America, released a statement announcing he had "passed quietly … at his home in Washington, D.C."
RT releases statement on Ed Schultz: "We at RT America are sad to announce the passing of Edward Andrew Schultz. Ed Schultz passed quietly early morning on July 5 at his home in Washington, D.C. This announcement comes as a shock to all of us here at RT America."
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) July 5, 2018
A former collegiate football star, Schultz got his start in sports broadcasting for a variety of North Dakota radio stations, including doing play-by-play for University of North Dakota and University of North Dakota State football games. In the early 1990's he transitioned to politics and started his own political talk show, originally with a conservative bent.
By the 2000s, Schultz had fully adopted the liberal views that would make him famous. "The Ed Schultz Show" ran for a decade and billed itself as the progressive answer to conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh.
Schultz was perhaps best known for "The Ed Show," which ran on MSNBC from 2009 and 2015. He often courted controversy and was suspended for a week by MSNBC in 2011 for comments on his radio show in which he called Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut."
After leaving MSNBC, Schultz signed with RT America to produce "The News with Ed Schultz." Schultz and his new show were criticized by many of his fellow progressives for taking a new positive tone towards both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republican President Donald Trump.
Update 1:52 P.M.: An earlier version of this story included an initial report indicating Schultz passed away at a Minnesota lake home. A statement from RT later clarified he passed away at his home in Washington, D.C. This has been corrected.