Journalist and author Edwin Newman dies

Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:42pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Journalist Edwin Newman, who helped anchor NBC newscasts for three decades with a reputation as an articulate, fair interviewer and a trusted moderator of U.S. presidential debates, has died, NBC said on Wednesday. He was 91.

Newman died peacefully of pneumonia in Oxford, England last month, his lawyer Rupert Mead told Reuters. His wife and daughter wanted to wait before announcing his death to come to terms with the loss, Mead said.

Forging an early reputation as a specialist in breaking news, Newman announced and anchored news of the assassinations of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King as part of NBC News in New York between 1961 and his retirement in 1984.

He was a regular member of the "Today" show team, moderated two presidential debates and conducted interviews with major figures of the day such as boxer Muhammad Ali, while releasing a series of nonfiction books including witty reflections on the use of language and U.S. politics and foreign policy.

"Ed Newman was an early role model for my generation of NBC News correspondents -- worldly, erudite and droll, qualities that were enriched by his pitch perfect use of the English language," NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw said in a statement.

He moved with his wife to England in 2007 and is survived by his wife and daughter. He died on Aug 13.

(Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Jill Serjeant)