Fox News host Sean Hannity paid tribute to his longtime friend and colleague Alan Colmes on Thursday after the liberal commentator’s death at 66.
According to a statement released by his family, Colmes passed away Thursday morning after a brief illness and leaves behind his wife Jocelyn Elise Crowley.
“He was a great guy, brilliant, hysterical, and moral. He was fiercely loyal, and the only thing he loved more than his work was his life with Jocelyn. He will be missed. The family has asked for privacy during this very difficult time,” the statement reads.
Hannity and Colmes rose to national prominence as co-hosts of the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes,” which ran from 1996 until 2009. They would debate political news and current affairs from a conservative and liberal perspective respectively. It was the precursor to “Hannity,” which has just one host.
Hannity released a statement saying that Jocelyn Crowley, along with Colmes’ sister-in-law and former Fox News contributor Monica Crowley and the entire Fox family, had lost “one of life’s most decent, kind and wonderful people you’d ever want to meet.”
“When Alan and I started Hannity & Colmes, there wasn’t a day that went by where we didn’t say we were two most fortunate men in all television,” Hannity said. “Despite major political differences, we forged a deep friendship. Alan, in the midst of great sickness and illness, showed the single greatest amount of courage I’ve ever seen. … I’m truly heartbroken at the loss of a dear friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jocelyn, Monica and his entire family. He will be dearly missed.”
Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” first reported Colmes’ passing Thursday morning with a touching tribute video narrated by his old friend Hannity.
He recalled Colmes’ “quick wit and straight-talking style,” which endeared him to many Americans, and chronicled his journey from standup comedian to radio host, political pundit and author. He said Colmes’ “hard-hitting” interview style gained respect on both sides of the aisle.
“Today the Fox News Channel lost a very dear member of our family,” he said. “One of the nicest, kindest, friendliest people and a dear personal friend, our friend Alan Colmes.”
Owing to his relationship with Fox News, Colmes had many conservative colleagues and viewers. Hannity was far from the only person at Fox News who paid tribute to Colmes on social media. Several prominent Fox News journalists, contributors and guests noted how much they respected Colmes despite their political differences.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) February 23, 2017
RIP @AlanColmes. Shock. While is disagreed with him on many things he was a good and decent man. Indeed, all that matters in the end.
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) February 23, 2017
— Liz Claman (@LizClaman) February 23, 2017
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) February 23, 2017
Shocked to hear of the passing of Alan Colmes. Thanks for providing great perspective on the stories of the day.
— Mike Tobin (@MikeTobinFox) February 23, 2017
Just heard of death of Alan Colmes; the kind of liberal I loved-smart, witty, and fair; never backed up, but always backed up his views. RIP
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) February 23, 2017
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