Anchor and correspondent John Palmer died Saturday after a brief illness, NBC News announced. He was 77.
"We are deeply saddened to share the news that we have lost a valued friend and colleague," NBC News said in a statement. "John was a brilliant, brave, and tireless journalist who guided viewers through many of the most significant events of the past half-century — from the early days of the civil rights movement through the tragedy of 9/11."
Palmer, whose career with NBC News spanned 40 years, served as a Today news anchor, worked as a White House correspondent during the Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations and even earned an Emmy Award for his reporting on the African famine. He retired from journalism in 2002.
"He covered five presidents and traveled to every corner of the world, always showing the empathy and compassion that helped set him apart," the statement continued. "His kindness is remembered by all of us, and it built lasting bonds throughout our news division. John held many positions over the course of his long career with NBC News, but his most treasured role was that of husband and father. Our love and support are with Nancy, Molly and Lee, Carter, Hope, and the entire Palmer family."