John McLaughlin (John McLaughlin)

John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin was originally a supporter of the Democratic Party and opposed the Vietnam War, but then became a war supporter and changed his party affiliation to Republican. In 1970 he sought permission from the Jesuit order to run for a seat in the United States Senate, representing Rhode Island. They had given permission to fellow Jesuit Father Robert Drinan who ran successfully for the House of Representatives in Massachusetts. When they refused, McLaughlin ran anyway but lost to the incumbent four-term Senator John O. Pastore. Through a friendship with Pat Buchanan, McLaughlin then became a speechwriter for U.S. President Richard Nixon. In 1974, after the resignation of President Nixon, he was ordered by his Jesuit superiors to return to Boston. He soon thereafter left the Society of Jesus. From 1981 to 1989, McLaughlin was Washington editor and author of the monthly political column “From Washington Straight,” for National Review. Leading up to the 2004 presidential election, McLaughlin—though a longtime Republican—announced that he would be voting for Democratic Party candidate John Kerry.

After leaving the White House following Nixon’s resignation, John McLaughlin worked with his wife in public relations and in 1980 became a weekend host on WRC radio in Washington. Eventually he was fired from that job.  The McLaughlin Group premiered in 1982. The show features four political commentators, usually two conservatives and two liberals, with McLaughlin seated in the middle. The McLaughlin Group is most widely seen on PBS affiliates, and is taped at the studios of WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C. The show is seen in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe and worldwide on American Forces Network and Worldnet and is available in high-resolution at the The McLaughlin Group YouTube channel, low-resolution video podcast form on the show’s website and on iTunes. His loud and forceful style of presentation has been parodied by comedians and other commentators, most notably Dana Carvey of Saturday Night Live. McLaughlin appeared in person as the Grim Reaper in an SNL sketch that parodied his show. McLaughlin himself eventually made a cameo appearance on SNL. John McLaughlin also hosted the interview show John McLaughlin’s One on One, first telecast in 1984, and ended in 2013. Also from 1989 through 1994, he produced and hosted McLaughlin, a one-hour nightly talk show on CNBC. For a short while in 1999, he hosted an MSNBC show, McLaughlin Special Report. The show was announced on January 22, and its cancellation was announced on February 25. John McLaughlin died on August 16, 2016 at his home in Washington, D.C. of prostate cancer.

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  • March, 29, 1927
  • USA
  • Providence, Rhode Island


  • August, 16, 2016
  • USA
  • Washington D.C.

Cause of Death

  • prostate cancer

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