Tom Brokaw retiring after 55 years with NBC News

Tom Brokaw, whose broadcast career spanned 55 years, announced his retirement from NBC News on Friday.

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Brokaw, 80, was a reporter, White House correspondent and anchor for NBC News, covering some of the most turbulent times in U.S. history.

Brokaw anchored NBC’s “Nightly News,” “Today” and “Meet the Press,” NBC News reported. Brokaw anchored “NBC Nightly News” from 1983 to 2004.

“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,” Brokaw said in a statement. “I could not be more proud of them.”

In a statement, NBC said that Brokaw “will continue to be active in print journalism, authoring books and articles, and spend time with his wife, Meredith, three daughters and grandchildren.”

Brokaw joined NBC in 1966 as a reporter in the network’s Los Angeles bureau. While in Los Angeles, Brokaw covered Ronald Reagan’s first run for public office, the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 presidential campaign.

He went on to become NBC News’ White House correspondent in 1973.

“Stepping into the White House press corps as an outsider meant pedaling hard to establish credibility,” Brokaw wrote in his 2019 book, “The Fall of Richard Nixon: A Reporter Remembers Watergate.”

In the days before cable news, Brokaw, along with CBS’ Dan Rather and ABC’s Tom Jarriel, would do stand-up reports outside the White House for their respective networks.

In 1976, Brokaw co-hosted “Today” before becoming anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News.”

According to NBC producer Andy Franklin, Brokaw “presided over -- and led us through -- more stories than anyone can count.”

Robert Windrem, a producer for “NBC Nightly News” said he was impressed by Brokaw’s coverage when Richard Nixon resigned the presidency in August 1974.

“I was deeply impressed not just by his professionalism, but by something else: his patriotism,” Windrem said in a 2017 retrospective about Brokaw’s career. “He understood his role in the nation, his responsibility as an American.”

Brokaw anchored most of NBC’s news coverage of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In the retrospective, producer Maralyn Gelefsky said “there is no day that I had greater respect or needed his strength and wisdom more than 9/11, when he led NBC and his TV audience with calm assurances.”

Born Feb. 6, 1940, in Webster, South Dakota, Brokaw graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in political science and worked as a reporter in Omaha, Nebraska, and Atlanta before joining NBC.

Brokaw’s 1998 book, “The Greatest Generation,” profiled many Americans who came of age during the Great Depression. He also wrote “A Lucky Life Interrupted,” “The Time of Our Lives” and “The Greatest Generation Speaks.”

Brokaw won numerous journalism awards, including Peabodys, Duponts, Emmys and The Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting, NBC News reported.

President Barack Obama awarded Brokaw the Medal of Freedom in 2014, Entertainment Weekly reported.