Ed Schultz, former MSNBC host, dies at 64

Political commentator and former MSNBC host Ed Schultz has died at the age of 64.

Schultz died of natural causes in Washington D.C., according to WDAY-TV, the Fargo, North Dakota, station where Schultz got his start.

A former Minnesota State University football player, Schultz served as sports director at WDAY from 1988 to 1996, doing play-by-play for college football. He transitioned into political commentary in the ’90s with a number of regional radio broadcasts in the Midwest.

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Television and radio host Ed Schultz
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 03: Ed Schultz attends Hulu Presents 'Triumph's Election Special' produced by Funny Or Die at NEP Studios on February 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images for Hulu)
Television and radio host Ed Schultz attends the International Emmy Awards in Manhattan, New York, U.S. November 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
NBC NEWS - EVENTS -- 2012 NBC News Upfront -- Pictured: Ed Schultz -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 21: Director Matthias Bittner and producer Paul Zischler (C) pose with the 'Documentary' award in the press room with Ed Schultz (R) during the 44th International Emmy Awards at New York Hilton on November 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 21: TV/radio host Ed Schultz attends the 2016 International Emmy Awards at New York Hilton on November 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 03: Ed Schultz, Ben Curtis and Blackwolf attend Hulu Presents 'Triumph's Election Special' produced by Funny Or Die at NEP Studios on February 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images for Hulu)
BURBANK, CA. Ed Shultz is a liberal talk show host photographed at the KTLK AM 1150 Progressive Talk Radio studio at Clear Channel studios in Burbank. Schultz is from north dakota and has built up a nationwide following. He is broadcast around the country, and is doing his show from mon�wed, 1/20�1/22 from the Burbank studios. (Photo by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz, is host of The Ed Show. (Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 24: Ron Hartenbaum, left, Chief Executive Officer Jones Radio Network Syndicator of the Ed Schultz Show, and Ed Schultz, liberal talk show host, are photogrphed in the Capitol. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: (L-R) James Earl Jones, Ed Schultz, and Bennett Zier attend the 7th annual Stella by Starlight benefit gala at The Players Club on May 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
October 5, 2011 - Ed Schultz, radio talk show and televison show host joined demonstrators in The 'Occupy Wall Street' protest movement at Foley Square. The protestors are voicing what they see as social grievances with the economic system that they feel favors corporations, bankers, and the wealthy business interest represented by Wall Street. And they voice their displeasure with what they see as society's greed, corporate influence, social and economic inequality and the ill affects of un (Photo by Andrew Holbrooke/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: (L-R) Ed Schultz, Kate Mulgrew, James Earl Jones, Harry Belafonte, Pamela Belafonte, Daryl Roth, Masa Tanaka, George C. Wolfe, and Tom Oppenheim attend the 7th annual Stella by Starlight benefit gala at The Players Club on May 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: Wendy Schultz, Ed Schultz and Valerie Jarrett attend The New Yorker's White House Correspondents' Dinner Party at the W Hotel on April 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for The New Yorker)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 21: Ed Schultz (R) attends the 44th International Emmy Awards at New York Hilton on November 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: Wendy Schultz, Ed Henry, Shirley Henry and Ed Schultz attend The New Yorker's White House Correspondents' Dinner Party at the W Hotel on April 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for The New Yorker)
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 2: Liberal television and radio host Ed Schultz speaks during the One Nation march on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on October 2, 2010 in Washington, DC. Thousands of people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for a march to call for One Nation Working Together that featured civil rights leaders, labor leaders, environmental and peace activists, faith leaders and celebrities with the intent of voicing concerns on jobs, for justice, immigration reform and for education for all. (Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images)
BURBANK, CA. Ed Shultz is a liberal talk show host photographed at the KTLK AM 1150 Progressive Talk Radio studio at Clear Channel studios in Burbank. Schultz is from north dakota and has built up a nationwide following. He is broadcast around the country, and is doing his show from mon�wed, 1/20�1/22 from the Burbank studios. Sitting across the desk from Ed In the studio is his wife, assistant producer, Wendy Schultz. (Photo by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
THE ED SHOW -- Pictured: Ed Schultz -- Ed Schultz hosts 'The Ed Show' (Photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE ED SHOW -- Pictured: Ed Schultz -- Ed Schultz hosts 'The Ed Show' (Photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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After his political views moved toward the left, Schultz landed his own MSNBC show in 2009. “The Ed Show” debuted on April 6, 2009, and ran for six years in a number of time periods, including both weekdays and weekends. It was canceled in 2015 as part of the network’s transition away from commentary and into breaking news coverage.

The following year, Schultz launched “The News With Ed Schultz” on the Russia-owned TV network RT America.

“I could have retired,” Schultz told WDAY at the time, speaking about the cancellation of his MSNBC program. “That’s not Ed Schultz; I’m not ready to do that. I got a lot of tire left. I have a lot of desire. This gives me a chance to do something that I haven’t had an opportunity to do in my career.”

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