Tom Brokaw announced Friday that he is officially retiring from NBC News at the age of 80. If this sounds familiar, it may be because he stepped down as the anchorman of NBC Nightly News back in 2004, but he has remained with the network in varous capacities since then.
In his 55 years reporting for NBC, his biggest scoop came in 1989, when he was actually on site in Germany when word came down that the Berlin Wall, which separated Soviet-controlled East Berlin from Allied West Berlin, would no longer be restricting passage between the two halves of the city after 28 years of Cold War tension.
Brokaw tells the story of how that happened in this clip from Oprah's Master Class, and how he managed to be the only one of the big three network news anchors who was there as it unfolded.
MSNBC's Steve Kornacki paid tribute to Brokaw today by posting a clip of Brokaw's first-ever solo anchor spot for NBC Nightly News back in 1983.
A sad day as Tom Brokaw announces his retirement from NBC after 55 years.— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) January 22, 2021
Here from 9/5/83 is his first-ever broadcast as the sole anchor of NBC Nightly News, the start of a 21-year run that would see him emerge as America's most popular and trusted news anchor: pic.twitter.com/bSSgrLXL2K
Brokaw is also the most imitatable of the legendary anchormen, as you can see in this Saturday Night Live sketch below featuring Dana Carvey. Thankfully he's always had a great sense of humor, as well.
Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.