Hugh Downs dead at 99

By Michael P. Hill Article may include affiliate links

Broadcasting legend Hugh Downs has died at 99.

Downs died Wednesday, July 1, 2020, in Arizona, his family confirmed.

The family also noted his death was not COVID-19 related.

Downs’ first job in broadcasting was working for NBC in Chicago in 1945 on an experimental station that would eventually become WBBM.

In 1954, he moved to New York to become an announcer for NBC before becoming anchor of the network’s “Today” from 1962 to 1971.

It was at NBC that he first worked with Barbara Walters, who was working as a producer on the show at the time.

The pair would later be reunited at ABC News when they co-anchored “20/20” from 1978 to 1999, when he retired from the show.

Downs was named anchor after the first edition of the show aired.

In addition to his news roles, Downs also worked on NBC’s “Tonight Show” when Jack Parr was host and also hosted the game show “Concentration.”

In 1984, Downs earned the Guiness Book of World Records honor for most hours on television — at 15,188 hours.

However, he would eventually lose the title to Regis Philbin in 2004.