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Legendary newsman (and Midwesterner) Tom Brokaw’s journalism career has been, in a word, epic. Here are 10 of the most remarkable moments from his decades-long odyssey.

Reports on President Nixon’s Resignation

In 1974, Brokaw reported on President Nixon’s resignation in his role as NBC White House correspondent. (His most recent tome recalls his coverage of Watergate.)


Named Host of the Today Show

In 1976, Brokaw was named the host of NBC’s Today Show. Alongside Jane Pauley, he brought America the news every morning for five years.


Becomes Host of NBC Nightly News

After making his first appearance on NBC Nightly News in 1982 alongside Roger Mudd, Brokaw was given the reins in 1983. He signed off in late 2004 after nearly 23 years of evening news.

Lands Historic Mikhail Gorbachev Interview

Brokaw made history in 1987 when Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to a one-on-one televised interview, the first with an American journalist. (Brokaw also had the first such interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.)

Gets an Undercover Video While Covering the Tiananmen Square Protests

While covering the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989, Brokaw and his cameraman captured an undercover video of life in the streets of Beijing.

Reports on the Fall of the Berlin Wall

On November 9, 1989, Brokaw became the first English broadcast journalist to report on the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Publishes The Greatest Generation

In 1998, Brokaw became a best-selling author with his debut book, The Greatest Generation. The tome tells the story of the generation that came of age during the Great Depression and World War II.


Wins Personal Peabody Award

After taking home two Peabody Awards in 1989 and 2003, Brokaw was given a Personal Peabody Award for his “ongoing history of thoughtful reporting, enterprise and good humor.”


Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

In 2014, President Obama bestowed the nation’s highest civilian honor upon Brokaw, alongside fellow honorees Ethel Kennedy, Meryl Streep, Stevie Wonder and more.

Reveals He Has Cancer

In February 2014, Brokaw publicly announced that he was battling multiple myeloma. He was treated for the disease at the Mayo Clinic and is now in remission.

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