Michael Brooks, the popular host of The Michael Brooks Show, has died suddenly of a medical condition, his team announced on July 20. The Michael Brooks Show posted a statement on Twitter, writing, “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the unexpected passing of Michael Brooks: a son, brother, friend and true comrade to so many, due to a sudden medical condition.”
On July 21, Brooks’ sister Lisha appeared on The Majority Report to provide more details about her brother’s death and said it was due to a blood clot in his throat. “I know there’s some speculation,” she says. “He got a blood clot in his throat, it was very sudden, we don’t know what caused it, they don’t think it was COVID-related, nothing weird happened, there was no suicide. It was just a horrible, unexpected terrible thing.”
The Michael Brooks Show is a weekly web show and podcast hosted on the Majority Report Network by Disrupting the Narrative. It’s hosted by Brooks and is described on its LinkedIn as a “history driven, politics and entertainment program.” Its Facebook page adds that it represents “the Vanguard of the New Left.” Brooks also described the show on his LinkedIn as “a smart, progressive, irreverent, and funny look at the politics of today.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Brooks’ Sister Said on Instagram, ‘Now that He’s Gone a Part of Me Is Gone That Can Never Be Replaced’
Brooks’ team announced that his death was unexpected and due to a “sudden medical condition,” but the statement did not provide more information as to the medical condition in question and the time of his passing.
His sister posted on Instagram, writing: “Michael was my brother, my only brother, my only sibling. Now that he’s gone a part of me is gone that can never be replaced. I’ll be writing and speaking more about him and his work soon. It helps to know people around the world love my incredible brother.”
The statement posted to The Michael Brooks Show‘s Twitter account ends by saying, “His family will release a statement in the near future about plans to keep his work alive by creating a foundation in his honor. While the form it will take is uncertain, Michael’s family desires to keep his work alive and asks all who wish to contribute continue doing so in the usual channels. Now we will honor Michael by treating all humans with respect and dignity.”
2. Brooks, a Progressive Political Commentator, Was the Host of ‘The Michael Brooks Show’ in Addition to Co-Hosting ‘The Majority Report With Sam Seder’
In addition to hosting The Michael Brooks Show, Brooks was also a co-host of The Majority Report With Sam Seder, a position he held since 2013. The Majority Report is a daily political talk show; it lists Brooks as a contributor who has regularly appeared as an analyst on outlets such as SiriusXM, Al Jazeera English, Huffpost Live and more. He has also written for the Jacobin, Al Monitor, Al Jazeera, the Washington Post and Open Democracy.
In July 2017, he announced that he was starting his own show, The Michael Brooks Show, which grew to 130,000 subscribers on YouTube. To date, the show has received over 23 million views on its YouTube account.
His LinkedIn also states that he was the co-host of 2 Dope Boys & a Podcast, which is a twice-weekly podcast highlighting trends and examining the latest in business, culture, technology and sports. The website for 2 Dope Boys & a Podcast states that Brooks “co-founded an arts and performance incubator in Western Massachusetts where he performed stand up and sketch comedy.”
3. Brooks Studied Political Science at Bates College & Recently Published a New Book
Brooks obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science at Bates College in Maine, where he studied from 2005 to 2009. In 2008, he studied political science and international relations at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. According to a Jacobin tribute piece on Brooks, he was born in 1983 and though he had “roots in New York City,” he’d “spent his formative years in Western Massachusetts.”
In 2011, he co-wrote with Josh Summers The Buddha’s Playbook, which is a collection of tools and strategies for practicing mindful meditation. Its website reads:
Joshua Summers and Michael Brooks have brilliantly synthesized insights from theories on decision-making with ancient contemplative approaches to make the habit of meditation practice real and relevant. By practicing the simple techniques and approaches in The Buddha’s Playbook, you will infuse your life, your work and your purpose with a focused mind and a compassionate heart.
Brooks had also published a book earlier in 2020 titled Against the Web: A Cosmopolitan Answer to the New Right. In his book, Brooks challenges the “Intellectual Dark Web” and “provides a theoretically rigorous but accessible critique of the most prominent ‘renegades’ including Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, and Brett Weinstein while also examining the social, political and media environment that these rebels thrive in.”
4. Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva Posted a Tribute to Brooks After His Death
Former Brazilian president Lula da Silva posted about Brooks’ death and expressed his shock at his sudden passing. Da Silva was the 35th president of Brazil and served from January 2003 until December 2010. In 2018, Da Silva was imprisoned and barred from standing in the 2018 presidential election, which was then won by the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro. The move was condemned by the UN human rights committee and he was released 580 days later following a supreme court ruling, the Guardian reported.
Brooks was one of da Silva’s supporters and a loud voice in advocating for his release. In January 2020, Brooks flew to São Paulo, Brazil where he interviewed the former Brazilian president along with Brasil Wire editors Daniel Hunt and Brian Mier.
According to Brooks’ team’s statement on his passing, da Silva was a personal hero of Brooks’ and his “causes & fight for freedom were dear to Michael’s heart.” The two-part interview is available here (part 1) and here (part 2).
5. Tributes Began Pouring in When News of Brooks’ Death Was Shared Online
Many people took to social media to post tributes and share their shock at the popular host’s sudden passing. His team posted in their statement that Brooks “believed in bringing people together in the struggle for love & justice, fighting for all poor & working people, a struggle that he understood to be global… It is impossible to capture the impact he had and will be missed sorely.”
Political pundit and journalist Krystal Ball wrote, “a truly beautiful human” with a series of broken hearts. Writer and commentator Christo Aivalis wrote, “Michael was incredibly kind to me and generous with his time for smaller creators. Most important was his commitment to socialism on a global scale; he was indispensable even among already essential left thinkers. I’m gutted. Absolutely gutted.”
One Twitter user wrote, “I’m gutted by this news. Michael was literally my favourite commentator. I’ve learned so much from him. His focus on Africa and Latin America was so refreshing. There is going to be a huge void in the discourse from now on. RIP Michael Brooks.”
The Young Turks host and political pundit John Iadarola wrote, “Shocked at the tragic news about Michael Brooks. He was such a thoughtful, kind, and caring voice who lived his values and used his platform to push for a better world. And he truly did care and think about the entire world, in a way much of our insular media rarely does.”
Investigative journalist Abby Martin wrote, “Gutted to learn I lost my friend Michael Brooks today. He was not only an amazing journalist & passionate fighter for justice, he was funny, genuine & selfless. Please tell people how much they are loved & supported because you might not get another chance. My heart hurts so much.”