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Tom Brokaw, who announced his retirement from NBC News on Friday, sure has a lot of friends.
Andrea Mitchell, Lester Holt, Dan Rather, Maria Shriver and many more wished him well. They recalled working with Brokaw over his 55 years at the network, as he covered the 1968 presidential campaign, including the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy; the first political campaign of President Ronald Reagan; and the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
As NBC noted, Brokaw was the only anchor to have led all three of its major news shows: Nightly News, Today and Meet the Press. He sat in the anchor’s chair for the primetime broadcast at 30 Rock from 1982 to 2004, and he’s continued to contribute to NBC coverage in the years since he left the position. In 2008, he filled in as the moderator of the interview show Meet the Press for several months following the death of Tim Russert. He’s continued to work as a contributor and commentator.
Mitchell, who works alongside Brokaw at NBC, said he was as important to the network as its peacock mascot.
.@NBCNews without #TomBrokaw is like the network without the Peacock. He told America’s story through triumph and tragedy, from Civil Rights to Watergate to Normandy, from space shuttles to Iraq, Bush/Gore and 9/11. An unmatched reporter and writer with more chapters to come
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) January 22, 2021
The current host of the nightly newscast that Brokaw once led, Holt, congratulated his colleague on having more free time, which the 80-year-old plans to spend with his family.
Congrats to my colleague @tombrokaw on a remarkable career at @nbcnews. From the turbulent sixties, to the fall of the Berlin Wall, to 9/11 and beyond, the nation witnessed history unfold through your reporting. Thanks for your counsel and friendship and enjoy retirement.
— Lester Holt (@LesterHoltNBC) January 22, 2021
It was “a sad day” for Steve Kornacki, the breakout star of NBC’s 2020 election coverage, who shared vintage video of the veteran newsman in action.
A sad day as Tom Brokaw announces his retirement from NBC after 55 years.
Here from 9/5/83 is his first-ever broadcast as the sole anchor of NBC Nightly News, the start of a 21-year run that would see him emerge as America's most popular and trusted news anchor: pic.twitter.com/bSSgrLXL2K
— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) January 22, 2021
Rather, Brokaw’s CBS competition from his days at NBC Nightly News, called him “always much more of a friend.”
Tom was always much more of a friend than a competitor. A consummate professional, always steady under pressure. Happy retirement, Tom. I know you will keep yourself busy. Hope to see you along the trail soon. https://t.co/o0GpNlc7NV
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) January 22, 2021
And there were plenty more kind words.
— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) January 22, 2021
— Ana Cabrera (@AnaCabrera) January 22, 2021
Tom Brokaw is retiring after 55 years at NBC News.
A true broadcasting titan and chronicler of history -- who was kind enough to impart some wisdom to a crop of us new NBC correspondents a couple of years ago.
Wishing you the absolute best, Tom. https://t.co/Rt30W4q2CU pic.twitter.com/Mts4OjPSxg
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) January 22, 2021
So bittersweet to hear the great Tom Brokaw is retiring from @NBCNews after more than half a century. I'm still in awe I had the chance to learn from him and am so incredibly grateful for the interest he took in my career and the advice he gave so freely pic.twitter.com/ls66hPJLw7
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) January 22, 2021
Brokaw’s other honors over the years include NBC dedicating its West Coast facility, the Brokaw News Center, to him in 2014, and President Obama awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom the same year.
Brokaw himself released a statement earlier in the day: “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.”
While he’s leaving TV behind, the author of The Greatest Generation and other books, is expected to continue his work through writing.
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