Hugh Downs has died at the age of 99
The veteran broadcaster passed away "peacefully" at his home in Arizona on Wednesday (02.07.20) surrounded by his loved ones, his great-niece Molly Shaheen said in a statement
6 July 2020
CBS News political correspondent Ed O'Keefe shared a tribute on Twitter.
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He wrote: "He retired from '20/20' in 1999 and died at age 99 in the year 2020. Sweet symmetry. Rest easy, Hugh Downs. One of the best."
Talk show host Geraldo Rivera also paid tribute to his friend.
He tweeted: "#HughDowns dear friend & longtime colleague at #abc2020 has passed at age 99. A true gentleman adventurer, we raced my sailboat & soared in his glider. Along with his late wife Ruth, he bridged generations with his erudite, compassionate, smart broadcasts. A great American RIP (sic)"
Hugh's career began in Chicago as an NBC newscaster, before moving to the same role on the iconic 'Today' show in 1962, a position he kept for nine years while also hosting competition series 'Concentration'.
Following his departure from 'Today', Hugh had a stint on the 'Tonight Show' but was most famous for his work with Barbara Walters on '20/20'.
Hugh anchored the show for 21 years, until his retirement in 1999, with Barbara joining as his co-host in 1984.
The broadcaster is survived by his two children, Deirdre and H.R., a brother, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
His wife, Ruth Shaheen Downs - who he wed in 1944 - passed away in 2017 at the age of 1995.
The former 'Live From the Lincoln Center' host - who began his TV career as an announcer in 1950 - was previously recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as having logged more hours in front of the camera than any other TV personality until his record was surpassed by Regis Philbin in 2004.