Legendary broadcast journalist David Brinkley died Wednesday night at his
home in Houston at the age of 82.
Brinkley was a major figure in network-television news since 1956, when he
teamed up with Chet Huntley to anchor NBC's The Huntley-Brinkley Report.
After spending 40 years at NBC News, Brinkley joined ABC News in 1981.
He was the anchor of the critically acclaimed This Week with David
Brinkley for 15 years, stepping down from the broadcast in 1996.
"David Brinkley set a shining example for everyone in broadcast journalism.
ABC News has a richer heritage because of his many contributions to the network.
I will miss his grace, elegance, wit and, above all, his tireless devotion to
world-class journalism. We mourn his loss and honor a legacy that will always be
a part of ABC News," said David Westin, president of ABC News.
A veteran political reporter, Brinkley covered every presidential election
and nominating convention from 1956 through his retirement.
Brinkley's career in broadcasting began in 1943, when he joined NBC News as
White House correspondent. He reported on every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
During his career, Brinkley won every major broadcasting award, including 10
Emmy Awards and three George Foster Peabody Awards.
In 1995, the Museum of Television and Radio honored him for lifetime
He has also received the Radio and Television News Directors Association's
"Paul White Award" for distinguished service to broadcast journalism; the "Lowell
Thomas Award" from Marist College; the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith's
"Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize"; the "Fourth Estate Award,"
presented by the National Press Club of Washington, D.C.; the "Joan Barone Award";
and a special tribute at the 40th annual Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University
Awards ceremony for his "unique contributions to broadcast journalism."
Brinkley also received the "Sol Taishoff Award" from the National Press
Foundation for excellence in broadcast journalism.
In 1989, he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences'
Television Hall of Fame.
In 1990, he was presented with a George Foster Peabody Award for "Lifetime
Achievement" for "the exceptional contributions he has made to broadcasting
during his tenure as one of the country's richest treasures."
Bob Wright, chairman and CEO of NBC and vice chairman of parent General Electric Co., issued the
following statement: "David Brinkley served NBC with style and aplomb for almost
40 years and, in the process, had a tremendous influence on the profession of
broadcast journalism. With his keen intelligence, dry wit and crisp delivery,
David Brinkley set the standard for those who followed in his path. Our thoughts
are with his family and friends. He was a man of inordinate gifts and he will be
Tom Brokaw, anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, had this to say:
"David Brinkley was an icon of modern broadcast journalism, a brilliant writer
who could say in a few words what the country needed to hear during times of
crisis, tragedy and triumph. He was also great personal company; charming, witty
and mischievous. He was my hero, as well as my friend."
Neal Shapiro, president of NBC News, called Brinkley "a true master of broadcast
journalism with an unparalleled understanding
of this new medium."