Veteran broadcasting personality Ed Schultz, whose career took him from quarterbacking at a Minnesota college to national radio and television, including hosting a show on MSNBC, died on Thursday, according to his son. He was 64.
Schultz died in Washington, where he anchored "News with Ed Schultz," the flagship show on RT America, a Russian-funded station formerly known as Russia Today. Schultz also hosted "The Ed Show" on MSNBC from 2009 to 2015.
His son David Schultz, who lives in Fargo, North Dakota, said his father died of natural causes but declined to provide further details.
"He was an unbelievable father and husband," his son said. "His family and friends are extremely, extremely sad right now. And we thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers, as well as privacy for our family through this time."
Schultz blossomed as a college football player in 1977, when he led NCAA Division II in passing while quarterback at Minnesota State University-Moorhead. After trying out for NFL and Canadian teams, he started a career as a TV and radio sportscaster in the region around Fargo and Moorhead along the Minnesota-North Dakota border.
He later became a conservative radio talk show host, but he was a fiery liberal by the time he took his show into national syndication in 2004.
Schultz also kept a home on Big Detroit Lake in Minnesota, where his college coach, Ross Fortier, also lives, according to Larry Scott, the school's athletics spokesperson. Schultz and his former coach remained close over the decades, Scott said.
Schultz is survived by his wife, Wendy, and six children.