John Palmer, a veteran reporter for NBC News for more than 40 years (1962-2002), died Saturday after a brief illness at a Washington hospital.
Palmer's wife Nancy confirmed he died of pulmonary fibrosis at age 77.
The gentlemanly Palmer worked for NBC from 1962 to 1990, co-anchoring Today from 1982-1989, then returned to the network from 1994 until 2002.
NBC News said in a statement:
"John was a brilliant, tireless journalist who guided us 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."