Hugh Downs, Former As of late Host, Useless at 99

Former Today show host Hugh Downs died on Wednesday at the age of 99.

Downs’ great-niece Molly Shaheen said in a statement that her great-uncle died “peacefully” while surrounded by his loved ones at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. where he retired to follow his departure from 20/20 in 1999.

The Emmy Award-winning broadcaster celebrated his 99th birthday in February.

The former Today show host’s career began in Chicago when he joined NBC as a newscaster. His talent as a journalist eventually landed him a role as newscaster for the famous morning show in 1962. In his role, he kept Americans informed of historic moments taking place across the country, including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Downs was also one of the first of the Today show hosts to straddle the line between newscaster and interviewer. 

Not to mention, Downs juggled his role on the Today show with his gig as host of the competition series Concentration.

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