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Timeline: The life and career of former Fargo radio personality, Ed Schultz

Ed Schultz speaks during a news conference in May 2011 at WZFG AM 1100 in Fargo to announce that his syndicated show is returning to the local airwaves. David Samson / Forum News Service 1 / 4
Ed Schultz, left, interviews Minnesota State University Moorhead football coach Ross Fortier in this undated photo. Forum News Service file photo 2 / 4
MSNBC talk show host Ed Schultz stands outside the Detroit Lakes house he calls home when he isn't working in Washington D.C. or New York City in this 2009 file photo. Forum News Service 3 / 4
Scott Hennen, left, and Ed Schultz make an announcement of radio broadcasting partnership in 2009. David Samson / Forum News Service 4 / 4

FARGO — An opportunity to play college football brought Ed Schultz to the Fargo-Moorhead area.

His impact with a microphone made him stay.

Schultz, 64, died of natural causes in Washington, D.C., WDAY-TV reporter Kevin Wallevand reported Thursday, July 5.

From former Division II All-American quarterback with the Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons, to hosting a talk news show on Russian-based television network "RT America," Schultz's talent and persona was polarizing.

This is a timeline of his life and career:

1954: Edward Andrew "Ed" Schultz is born in Norfolk, Va.

1976: Schultz moves to Moorhead, Minn. to play football for the Moorhead State University Dragons.

1977: Schultz named NCAA Division II national passing champion and the Northern Intercollegiate Conference most valuable player. Schultz would also become the then-career passing leader of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. After leaving the Dragons, Schultz signs as a free agent with the Oakland Raiders. He also earns a tryout with the New York Jets.

1978-1979: He began his career as a broadcaster in the KXJB-TV sports department in Fargo and later tried out for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, a Canadian Football League team.

About 1980: After a short time in Houston working for a radio station, Schultz returned to Fargo and did reporting and anchor work at KTHI (now KVLY).

1983: He began anchoring nightly sports broadcasts for WDAY-TV in Fargo and doing radio play-by-play for North Dakota State University football games.

1988: While doing play-by-play during an NDSU football game, Schultz, who was also sports director for WDAY-TV, allegedly unleashed a string of profanities on air after a whiskey bottle came flying into the press box where he was broadcasting. Schultz eventually went into the stands to search for the person responsible for throwing the bottle, The Associated Press reported. Schultz was then asked by WDAY-TV management to “take a few days off” to clear his head.

1992: Schultz becomes a conservative political talk show host on WDAY-AM where he hosted a news show called “Viewpoint.”

1994: Schultz ponders a run as a Republican for the U.S. House of Representatives in North Dakota but decides against it.

1996: Schultz leaves WDAY-TV to begin broadcasting for KFGO radio station in Fargo. His show, “News and Views,” quickly grew into a regional broadcast that would dominate the airwaves in North Dakota. In his earlier years of being a radio personality, Schultz’s political views leaned towards the right.

1998: Schultz meets Wendy Noack, who would later become his wife, at a party. The two would go on a lunch date at the Salvation Army food cafeteria. A homeless man eating there recognized Schultz. Schultz, who formerly referred to the homeless as lazy, talked to the man and realized he was too simplistic. This was Schultz’s first step toward shifting his viewpoints from Republican to Democrat.

1998: Schultz, who was formerly touted as the “Voice of the Bison” for many years during his time at WDAY-TV, accepts a job doing play-by-play work on University of North Dakota football broadcasts.

2001: Schultz begins taking his regional show on the road in a 38-foot Winnebago, broadcasting from small towns and ranches. Schultz said he came to believe that Democrats were doing more for “the little guy” and decides to become a Democrat.

2003: Schultz leaves UND as a play-by-play man to focus on his national radio show.

2004: Schultz becomes the host of a syndicated radio talk program called “The Ed Schultz Show” on the Jones Radio Networks.

2004: Schultz considers running for the Democratic-NPL party nomination for governor of North Dakota against incumbent Republican John Hoeven.

2009: MSNBC announces the launch of “The Ed Show,” anchored by Schultz.

2013: Schultz leaves his nightly show on MSNBC to host a twice-a-week MSNBC show on weekends. The show would eventually move back to weekdays later that year, but in a different time slot.

2015: MSNBC President Phil Griffin announces that “The Ed Show” would be cancelled in an effort for the network to transition to news reporting.

2016: Schultz announces that he would be the host of “The News with Ed Schultz” on RT America, a Russian-based television news network.

2018: Schultz dies in Washington, D.C.

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