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NBC Veteran Journalist Tom Brokaw Is Retiring After 55 Years — Look Through His Life and Career

Annette Shadeya
Jan 26, 2021
10:20 A.M.
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Tom Brokaw, "NBC’s" veteran journalist, is retiring after 55 years at the network. The influential journalist’s half a century career saw him take America through its most tumultuous years since 1966.

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Tom Brokaw is the only "NBC" journalist to have sat as a news correspondent on its primary news shows, “Nightly News,” “Today,” and “Meet the Press.” Before retirement, Brokaw was a special correspondent for the network.

Brokaw, 80, has covered serious topics and retires after beating his most serious topic of all - cancer. The journalist was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a blood cancer affecting blood cells in the bone marrow.

Tom Brokaw visits SiriusXM Studio on May 9, 2016 Source | Photo: Getty Images

Tom Brokaw visits SiriusXM Studio on May 9, 2016 Source | Photo: Getty Images

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Brokaw started at the network in 1966, covering presidential campaigns before scaling the ranks to become a White House Correspondent. To add to his list of historical milestones, Brokaw covered JFK’s assassination.

The anchor joined the “Today” show in 1976, after which he joined the “Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” which he helmed for 21 years before stepping down in 2004. Speaking on his present retirement, Brokaw said:

“A new generation of NBC News journalists, producers and technicians is providing America with timely, insightful and critically important information, 24/7."

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Brokaw then joined “Meet the Press” in 2008 after his colleague Tim Rusert's unfortunate passing. His tenure at the top news slots saw the anchor create a timely and important topic that has made his legacy hard to match.

Brokaw is notably a Peabody, Dupont, and Emmy winner amongst the list of his awards for his exemplary and honest coverage on 25 documentaries that documented the reality of race, poverty, AIDS, and many others.

Brokaw’s career has not been without scandal.

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In 2015 however, Brokaw broke the news of his cancer diagnosis. The anchor had been diagnosed with a blood cancer that, according to doctors, was treatable but incurable. Brokaw then underwent special treatment.

Despite the news, which doctors affirmed had a low survival rate, Brokaw returned to work throughout his treatment lending his expertise to news pieces. The anchor kept his illness quiet but eventually shared his news.

“It was very, very touching to know how concerned everybody was.”

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Brokaw chalked up his recovery and care during the difficult time to his family. The news correspondent told "NBC" his wife Meredith and his 3 daughters took up the cause and were involved every step of the way.

The anchor detailed his emotional journey in a memoir titled “A Lucky Life, Interrupted,” expounding on his cancer journey. In retirement, Brokaw wished to spend more time with his family and write more books.

Brokaw’s career has not been without scandal. The anchor received a letter laced with anthrax attack following his 9/11 coverage in 2001. In 2018 he faced an allegation of groping, which he rebutted.

Many of his correspondents signed a public letter to support the anchor after the accusation. Brokaw’s career was heralded by current “Today” anchor

Savannah Guthries

. To Guthrie Brokaw is a broadcasting legend.

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