September 15th, 2010
11:57 AM ET

Longtime NBC newsman Edwin Newman has died

Edwin Newman, the longtime NBC newsman and expert on the English language, has died, NBC said Wednesday.

Newman, 91, served in many capacities for NBC, as an anchor, a news reporter, a commentator, a moderator and a host.

He was particularly well-known for his writings, including those about language. They include "Strictly Speaking: Will America Be the Death of English?" and "A Civil Tongue."

“For decades America got its news from NBC’s Edwin Newman. He was one of our nation’s preeminent journalists, an authoritative figure on grammar and the English language, a true professional and always the gentleman," President of NBC News Steve Capus said in a statement. "He brought dignity and great perspective to an endless array of historic news events. He set a standard for decades to come, at NBC News and throughout this profession. Edwin will be missed as a journalist, and as a respected member of the NBC News family.”

Brian Williams, Anchor and Managing Editor of Nightly News with Brian Williams, praised Newman's personality and sense of humor.

“Ed Newman was never preachy or pedantic. He was approachable, elegant and precise," Williams said in a statement. "He was a teacher, a broadcaster, and above all a superb journalist. To those of us watching at home: he made us feel like we had a very smart, classy friend in the broadcast news business.

His sharp sense of humor - always first aimed squarely at himself - allowed him to stretch his formidable talents from news to Saturday Night Live. His voice can still be heard inside 30 Rock - and we summon it often when we need an answer. He always knew the correct one.”

NBC News Special Correspondent Tom Brokaw echoed the sentiments and added that Newman served as an example for the kind of reporter he would later strive to be.

"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," Brokaw said in a statement. "He was always a gentleman and a reassuring presence in our midst."

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  1. Jim

    Ed Newman, Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Huntley/Brinkley, Harry Reasoner, Bernard Shaw,Eric Sevareid,Howard K. Smith,Bob Schieffer,Douglas Edwards, etc. When reporting the news and trusting that the news was ONLY and ACCURATELY reported meant everything. Thank you Ed Newman for "being there" with ONLY the news we could count on and trust!

    September 15, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ron

    The viewing public has lost one more true newsman, actual newspeople are a rarity in our information age.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • tensor

      Cronkite, Newman, etc... were followed by some very, very well-educated and erudite Baby Boomer journalists who admired and learned at the feet of those pros. Most have been driven from the business by corporate owners closing bureaus, shuttering entire units, and slashing news budgets for nearly 30 years, beginning in the early 1980s. Baby Boomers are the last educated generation of Americans. What news consumers are forced to endure now are semi-literate, poorly educated burger flippers and loud mouthed pundits, many of whom are not journalist at all, in fact. I long for the days when lawyers, lobbyists and so-called experts weren't on air with their own show or in print as anything more than a brief source.

      September 15, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mizh

    Right on, Otto and Annie. He was a class act.... my condolences to his family.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*Scott

      Class act???? Ed Newman was a piece of crap!!!! I hope he's on the express train to Hell!!!!!

      September 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • deborah ann chartier

      SCOTT.gee thanks for that lovely opinion of My Grandfathers brother...your an idiot you didnt know him so you shouldn't give an opinion of him like you knew him. Thanks I am sure that will make my familys grief much easier.Your a classless loser.I didnt even know the man well but i do know my mother did and my grandfather who passed a few yrs ago....and she has nothing but good things to say of him.Why cant people keep their mouth shut if they have nothing nice to say...

      September 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • justsane

      i was brought up to believe that "if you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all" (thanks thumper!) given that the man just passed away, you might try that scott.

      September 15, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*Scott

      I didn't personally know the guy so I shouldn't say anything about him????I doubt that anyone posting on here knew the man- should they also say nothing, be it good or bad??? Mr. Newman is most likely not agree with that and you claim to be a family member?? Shame on you!!!

      September 15, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Scott, what a piece of - you are.

      September 15, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SLK

    A class act! RIP–you'll be missed.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John

    Another signature voice.....another journalist gone.
    RIP Ed Newman.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Help here

    Hey Guys, will you visit SaveStan.ORG a friend of mine with 4 young children is fighting for his life…… Thanks

    September 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Vicki Palmer

    A true class act among many great journalists!

    September 15, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Paul

    I agree with Jim and Ron. Edwin Newman REPORTED the news... he did not do "news analysis" (news-speak for "provide his or his network's opinion").

    September 15, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jhr

    Don't everyone forget John Cameron Swayze. He was there at the start of TV news and that's what he gave you.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kerry

    No.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SomeTruth

    Thank you, Mr. Newman, for doing a great job at imparting your wisdom and style to so many for so long. Well done.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Laurie

    A true class act. The do not make them like that anymore. Rest in peace.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ronald j mcl;oughlin

    I liked Edwin Newman a lot but as a progressive American English I did not like his prescriptive approach to language. In fact if we had an academy as Spain does all the nonsense that goes on about "correct" English would be erradicated. We are oppressed here in the West by can/may distinction which went out in the 50s as I started teaching, as never having been a valid distinction. In fact, it was effeminate English in NYCs school. The kids would have laughed me out of the classroom if I ever insisted on can/may. In fact, I never "corrected" their spoken English since your speech is influenced by your family, friends and social situation that is very diverse in a city like NY. Again, farewell blithe spirit, you did what you thought was best even though in language you did a lot of damage.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bruce

    Newman once mentioned a football play-by-play announcer describing a ball carrier falling without being hit. That announcer said the runner suffered "self tackilization."

    September 15, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GaryInMilwaukee

    Its not the national news media who has degeneraged, it the listeners. TV is a reflection of society, not the other way around. We Americans are just cry babies because nothing makes us more happier then to complain!!!

    September 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • GDBnNH

      How true! We've become a "dumb downed" nation.

      September 15, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
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