Fox News commentator, radio host dead after brief illness, family says in statement to network
Last Updated Feb 23, 2017 11:26 AM EST
Fox spokeswoman Dana Klinghoffer confirmed his death Thursday. Fox also aired a tribute to Colmes, narrated by Hannity, and a statement from his family saying that he died Thursday morning after “a brief illness.”
Colmes is survived by his wife, Jocelyn Elise Crowley, the sister of longtime Fox contributor Monica Crowley.
“He was a great guy, brilliant, hysterical, and moral,” the family statement said. “He was fiercely loyal, and the only thing he loved more than his work was his life with Jocelyn. He will be missed.”
In a statement issued through Fox, Hannity called Colmes “one of life’s most decent, kind and wonderful people.”
Fox News Correspondents Alan Colmes and Sean Hannity attend the Fox News Channel’s 10th anniversary celebration on Oct. 4, 2006, in New York City.
Colmes was a New York City native and Hofstra University graduate who worked for years in radio, notably on WABC and WNBC, and standup comedy before joining Fox in 1996.
That same year he and the conservative Hannity began a 12-year run as co-hosts of the popular “Hannity & Colmes” program, which brought Colmes both fame and ridicule.
Admittedly a minority voice on the conservative channel, Colmes was often mocked as too nice and easily overshadowed by the ever-aggressive Hannity. The liberal media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Media likened him to the hapless Washington Generals, the dependable losers to basketball’s Harlem Globetrotters.
Al Franken, in his best-selling “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them,” imagined Colmes earning his salary by “adding toner to the copiers and printers, loofah-ing Roger Ailes in his personal steam room, and ordering Chinese food for editors working on misleading video packages.”
Colmes was aware of the criticism, but said that getting mean was not his style.
“People say to me, ‘Why don’t you fight fire with fire?’” he told The Associated Press in 2003. “You fight fire with water, not fire.”
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Colmes continued to appear as a commentator on Fox after his show with Hannity ended. He also was an author, his books including “Thank the Liberals” and “Red, White & Liberal.”
Former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly, conservative commentator Ann Coulter and Fox personalities were among those who took to social media following news of Colmes’ death.
Heartbroken my friend Alan Colmes has died. He lit up the FNC halls w/his kindness & humor. Incredibly positive force. Prayers 4 his family.
WHAT? @AlanColmes passed away????? Noooooooooooo! Very sad. He was a good guy. Always surprised people that way. https://t.co/RL1AmwGpmx
So sad to hear of the death of Fox News colleague Alan Colmes. He and I agreed on little, but I liked him immensely. Good guy. R. I. P.
I can tell you tears r flowing @FoxBusiness @FoxNews right now. We are all devastated by the loss of kind soul @AlanColmes may god bless RIP
My friend and colleague @AlanColmes passed away this morning. Big lefty and a big heart. Great guy. My prayers for his family. #alancolmes
Alan Colmes was an incredibly talented media personality but he was also my friend & a mentor. Saying he will be missed is an understatement.