Former NBC Today Anchor and Correspondent John Palmer Palmer died after a brief illness Saturday.
Palmer joined NBC News in 1962 and stayed with the network through 1990. He rejoined in 1994 and was with the network until his retirement from journalism in 2002. He most recently served as a national news correspondent based in Washington, D.C. During his career, he served as Today news anchor from 1982-1989. Before that, he was NBC’s White House correspondent during the Carter and Reagan administrations. Palmer earned a number of awards during his career, including an Emmy Award for his reporting on the African famine.
On April 25, 1980, Palmer reported from the White House lawn to break the news of the aborted rescue attempt of American hostages held in Iran. That story and the following coverage made him the first broadcast journalist to earn the White House press corps' Merriman Memorial Award for Excellence in Presidential news coverage. Palmer also anchored the first hours of coverage of the Challenger Space Shuttle tragedy on January 28, 1986, and other special reports.
“We are deeply saddened to share the news that we have lost a valued friend and colleague," NBC News said in a statement. “John was a brilliant, brave, and tireless journalist who guided viewers 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."