NBC reporter Tom Brokaw hangs up his mic.
Brokaw, 80, is retiring after a 55-year career with NBC, the network’s news division reported on Friday. He holds the distinction of being the sole person to direct all of NBC News’ three flagship shows: “Today”, “NBC Nightly News” and “Meet the Press”.
The South Dakota native plans to spend time with his wife, Meredith, three daughters and grandchildren, and says he will remain active as a reporter and author. His first book, “The Greatest Generation,” was a huge success, naming the generation of Americans who lived through the Great Depression and fought in World War II.
“During one of the most complex and important eras in American history, a new generation of NBC News reporters, producers and technicians are providing America with timely, insightful and critically important information. , 24/7. I couldn’t be more proud of them, ”Brokaw said in a statement.
Early in Brokaw’s journalistic career, he covered the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 and as NBC’s chief White House correspondent, Watergate. He started hosting “Today” in 1976 and became the host of “Nightly News” in 1983. He was an interim host of “Meet the Press” after the death of longtime moderator Tim Russert in 2008.
Brokaw’s 22-year tenure on “Nightly News” coincided with the long stints of rivals Peter Jennings on ABC and Dan Rather on CBS, at a time when the network’s newscasters had much more power and authority. than today.
“Tom has always been more of a friend than a competitor,” he tweeted on Friday instead, “a consummate professional, always under pressure. Happy retirement, Tom. I know you’re going to keep yourself busy. Hope to see you soon on. the trail. “
Brokaw’s most recent appearance on an NBC News show was on December 30 on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Highlights of his career include being the first American journalist to interview Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 and the only American network presenter to report from Berlin on the night the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.
He has received top journalism awards: Peabody, Dupont, Emmy and the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Broadcasting. In 2014, President Barack Obama awarded Brokaw the Medal of Freedom and France inducted him into the Legion of Honor in 2016 for his work on behalf of the veterans of the “Greatest Generation”.
Brokaw was diagnosed in 2013 with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, and continued to work while under treatment. He announced that the cancer was in remission in 2014.
In 2018, Brokaw denied sexual harassment charges brought by two women, including former NBC and Fox News reporter Linda Vester, who said she made unwanted sexual advances in the 1990s. Brokaw challenged them allegations and more than 60 NBC News colleagues, including Rachel Maddow, Kelly O’Donnell and Andrea Mitchell, signed a letter defending Brokaw’s character.
Brokaw began his career in television news at stations in Sioux City, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; and Atlanta. He joined NBC in 1966, reporting from Los Angeles where he also anchored KNBC’s 23-hour newscast.