NBC News veteran Tom Brokaw announced Friday that he is retiring from the network after 55 years. The author of The Greatest Generation was NBC's lead anchor at Nightly News and for big events for more than 20 years before giving way to Brian Williams in 2004. The 80-year-old newsman did documentaries and made other appearances for the networks after that, the AP reports, but he has fought cancer, and his television appearances have been more sporadic lately. He said he will continue to be active in print journalism, writing books, and articles. Brokaw began at NBC in its Los Angeles bureau in the 1960s, where he covered Ronald Reagan's first run for office and the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. He was a White House correspondent during Richard Nixon's presidency, and began co-hosting the Today show in 1976.
Brokaw started hosting Nightly News in 1983, and he is the only NBC journalist to host Today, Nightly News, and Meet the Press, per CNN. For two decades, Brokaw, ABC's Peter Jennings and CBS' Dan Rather were the nation's most visible broadcasters, anchoring major stories like the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2018, Linda Vester, a former NBC reporter, accused Brokaw of sexual harassment in the 1990s, saying he had "groped and assaulted" her. Brokaw denied the accusations, and Andrea Mitchell, Rachel Maddow, and other women who worked for NBC signed an open letter defending him. (When Brokaw's phone alarm went off on the air, he handled it.)