Over and out. Tom Brokaw announced his retirement on Friday, January 22, after more than half a decade with NBC News.
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“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,” the journalist, 80, said in a statement. “I could not be more proud of them.”
The network confirmed the news, revealing his plans for his time away from the bright lights of television news sets.
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“Brokaw will continue to be active in print journalism, authoring books and articles, and spend time with his wife, Meredith, three daughters and grandchildren,” the statement read.
Journalists and fans alike flocked to Twitter to celebrate his long career, wish him well in retirement and share fond memories. MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki tweeted, “A sad day as Tom Brokaw announces his retirement from NBC after 55 years.” NBC’s Kasie Hunt called the day of Brokaw’s retirement “so bittersweet.”
The award-winning commentator got his start with NBC in 1966. At the time, Brokaw was working out of Los Angeles, where he focused mainly on covering politics. He also served as a nightly news anchor on KNBC before moving to Washington D.C. in 1973 to cover the White House. Later, in 1982, he became cohost of NBC Night News, which he went on to helm until 2004. Brokaw is the first American journalist to interview Mikhail Gorbachev.
Brokaw signed off from NBC’s Nightly News for the last time in December 2004. In his farewell address, he shared a sentiment praising what he called the Greatest Generation, saying, “They did not give up their personal beliefs and greatest passions, but they never stopped learning from each other, and most of all they did not give up on the idea that we are all in this together. We still are.”
The South Dakota native has since been included in NBC News special event coverage as a correspondent. In 2001, he authored a book called The Greatest Generation, which highlighted the plight of Americans during the Great Depression and World War II.
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In 2014, Brokaw was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama — one of many accolades he collected throughout his lengthy career.