Broadcasting Legend With Hawkeye Ties Is Retiring
So, the connection is kind of a stretch, but Tom Brokaw was, for a brief time, an Iowa Hawkeye.
His ties to us were short-lived but according to KWWL, Brokaw has always said Iowa holds a special place in his heart. He spent one year at the University of Iowa, then went on to the University of South Dakota, in his native state. An anchor gig at KTIV-TV in Sioux City followed, according to Wikipedia and the rest is history, and quite a history it has been for the 80-year old who says he's wrapping up his time in front of the camera, after 55 years with NBC News.
He was bestowed with an honorary doctorate from the U of I in 2010 and returned for a speaking engagement in January 2020. Over the years, he "donated" a slew of his historically significant personal notes and writings to the University, which can now be viewed by the public.
Brokaw ended his stint as lead anchor for the NBC Nightly News in 2004, later announcing a cancer diagnosis, but stayed with the network to make sporadic appearances and documentaries. He plans to continue writing books, to follow his most famous literary work, "The Greatest Generation".
For over 20 years, with his counterparts the late Peter Jennings from ABC News and Dan Rather at CBS, he was part of a trio of national news anchors that most of us grew up watching and turning to when anything of note happened in the world. For NBC, Brokaw covered the tenures of multiple Presidents and major historical events of our time, few bigger than the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Brokaw had high praise for those who have followed in his footsteps, saying "during one of the most complex and consequential eras in American history, a new generation of NBC News journalists, producers and technicians is providing America with timely, insightful and critically important information, 24/7".
Thanks for making Iowa a small part of your historic career and likely influencing many aspiring journalists and broadcasters from here and elsewhere.