Robert Gilliland Beckel, known as Bob, is an American political activist and a former political operative. Beckel was born in New York City, New York, USA, on November 15, 1948. Bob’s parents were Cambridge Graham and Ellen Gilliland. He has a brother, the popular actor Graham Beckel. His family is steeped in politics and this has been a great influence in Bob taking a keen interest in politics at a young age. Raised in Connecticut, he attended a private school there. He went on to join Wagner College, where he got a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. While in school and college, he was actively engaged in sports and represented his college in several football matches.

It was in college where Beckel got initiated into politics. He was involved in the presidential campaign of Robert Kennedy. He went on to join the Peace Corps and was the owner of a successful consulting firm. In 1977, he joined the Department of State. As the manager of Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign in 1984 he successfully supervised all activities. He is responsible for the slogan ‘Where the Beef around Gary Hart, the opponent of Mondale’. In 2002, he was the manager of Alan Blinken’s campaign for the Senate seat. However, he was dropped because he could not prove his worth due to charges of extortion by a prostitute whom he hired.

Currently Beckel is a TV presenter and an analyst on the Fox News Channel, co-hosting the TV show The Five. He also writes articles for USA Today along with his friend and political opposite Cal Thomas. He is also a professor at George Washington University, Washington D.C. teaching presidential politics.

Beckel is a known as a controversial person who is frequently involved in issuing controversial statements and using colorful and foul language. A Protestant, he rubs people the wrong way, particularly the American Jews, Muslims and his own colleagues too. After the Boston Marathon bombings, he went live on air advocating denial of visas to students of Islamic countries. Against Julian Assange, he used harsh words calling him a traitor and would like to shoot that son of a bitch. Recently, he caused a hue and cry and raised a few eyebrows when he used the offensive slang and racial word ‘Chinamen’ on air, saying they are the single biggest threat to the national security of the U.S.

Beckel married Leland Ingham in 1992 and 10 years later, she sought a divorce from him. They have two children. Beckel is addicted to alcohol and drugs. He chose to use cocaine. In 2011, he openly admitted to his addiction. In 2002, Beckel landed himself in a major controversy. In June 2002, he hired a prostitute to visit his home on a number of occasions. Sometime, later a note was left on his car’s windshield and a voice message on his answering machine demanding a sum of $50,000. The extorter threatened to go public and provide evidence of his affair. Though the Montgomery police tried to track the extorters stealthily, the media caught on. Soon after, as is bound to happen, his wife sought divorce. 

Last Modified: Apr 8, 2020

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