John McLaughlin of TV's 'The McLaughlin Group' Dies | NBC Bay Area
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John McLaughlin of TV's 'The McLaughlin Group' Dies

Followers of the show's Facebook page were encouraged last week to send their best to McLaughlin, who was ill



    FilmMagic, File
    TV show host John McLaughlin at a gala thrown by the Museum of Television & Radio to honor Bob Wright and "Saturday Night Live" in New York City.

    John McLaughlin, the longtime host of public affairs TV show "The McLaughlin Group," died Tuesday at 89, according to a message on the show's Facebook page. 

    "As a former jesuit priest, teacher, pundit and news host, John touched many lives," the post said. "For 34 years, The McLaughlin Group informed millions of Americans. Now he has said bye bye for the last time, to rejoin his beloved dog, Oliver, in heaven. He will always be remembered."

    The unrehearsed show features political pundits discussing the latest goings on in Washington, D.C. Among the regular faces in the group is former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan.

    Panelist and columnist Tom Rogan confirmed McLaughlin's death in a video posted to Facebook, saying "We are all very sad, everyone at the group, but we're remembering him in the best way that we can."

    "He was energetic and he would call me and say, with profanity sometimes, you need to improve upon this — in a more aggressive way than that," Rogan said, laughing. "I will miss him very, very much."

    Ordained a priest in 1960 after earning undergraduate and graduate degrees at Boston College and a Ph.D. at Columbia University, McLaughlin worked in the Nixon and Ford administrations, then created "The McLaughlin Group" in 1982. He also hosted a show called "McLaughlin" on CNBC for five years starting in 1989.

    McLaughlin missed this week's show, which began with a note to viewers saying McLaughlin was under the weather: "My spirit is strong and my dedication to the show is absolute!" the note concluded.

    Deadline reported Sunday that it was the first show he'd missed in 34 years as host. 

    The show's Facebook page had last week encouraged followers to send their best to McLaughlin.