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Tom Brokaw retires from NBC News after 55 years: Dan Rather, Lester Holt, Andrea Mitchell and more wish him well

Raechal Shewfelt
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·4 min read
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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.

Tom Brokaw encounters Ethel Kennedy at a tennis tournament in honor of her late husband, Robert, in August 1976. (Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Tom Brokaw encounters Ethel Kennedy at a tennis tournament in honor of her late husband, Robert, in August 1976. (Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Mitchell, who works alongside Brokaw at NBC, said he was as important to the network as its peacock mascot.

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.

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.

Rather, Brokaw’s CBS competition from his days at NBC Nightly News, called him “always much more of a friend.”

And there were plenty more kind words.

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.

Tom Brokaw anchors "NBC Nightly News" in the early 1980s. (Photo: NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection)
Tom Brokaw anchors NBC Nightly News in the early 1980s. (Photo: NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection)

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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