Tom Brokaw is retiring from NBC News after a legendary 55-year run with the network. At 80 years old, the iconic newsman announced he would be ending his time at the network that first hired him in 1966. "During one of the most complex and consequential eras in American history, a new generation of NBC News journalists, producers and technicians is providing America with timely, insightful and critically important information, 24/7. I could not be more proud of them," he said in a statement Friday.
NBC credited Brokaw with "more than half a century of award-winning reporting" in a press release announcing his retirement Friday, noting that he will "continue to be active in print journalism, authoring books and articles, and spend time with his wife, Meredith, three daughters and grandchildren."
Brokaw served as the anchor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004, and since then has served as a special correspondent and commentator. His 2001 book, The Greatest Generation, is credited with popularizing the title for use in referring to WWII veterans and their families after he wrote about the time period to much acclaim.
Brokaw first was assigned to the Los Angeles bureau of NBC in 1966, covering Ronald Reagan’s first run for office and anchoring the nightly newscast at KNBC. In 1973, he was promoted to the network's White House correspondent, where he became a household name covering the Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon's resignation. In 1976, he joined the TODAY show, which he hosted alongside Jane Pauley, and six years later was paired wither Roger Mudd as the co-anchor of NBC's Nightly News following the exit of John Chancellor. In 1983, Brokaw would become the sole anchor and managing editor of the Nightly News, and would make history as the first American journalist to interview Mikhail Gorbachev.
In 2006, he delivered one of the eulogies during the state funeral of former President Gerald R. Ford, and in 2008, he served as an NBC analyst during the presidential election and moderated one of the debates between Barack Obama and John McCain. In June 2008, Brokaw was the one to announce the sudden death of NBC News Washington Bureau Chief and Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert. A week later, Brokaw was tapped as the new host of Meet the Press on an interim basis, to be succeeded by David Gregory in December 2008. In 2014, Brokaw was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.