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. Alex

    an iconic loss at a minimum

    As Mr. Newman was to Beethoven,

    Today's journalists are to Brittney Spears

    September 15, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • keburg

      "an iconic loss at a minimum"

      What the hell does that mean? 'An iconic loss'? Pomposity at a minimum.

      September 15, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • mejazzbo

      Alex. You are far to generous with the current crop. Even Ms. Spears was amazing in her day. Todays news people don't even rank as Newman wannabes.

      September 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jim

    Anybody remember when he was on, I think, Saturday Night Live and sang "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone"? He even went so far as to correct the actors in the middle of a sketch for grammatical errors!

    September 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. NL

    Gosh, I grew up watching him and Walter Cronkite. May God bless and keep them.

    September 15, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cornponious

    Terrain in Maine is stained with acid rain.


    September 15, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jack

    His SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE hosting gig was one of the funniest shows of the 1980s. He co-hosted again and would appear on NOT NECESSARILY THE NEWS and in the movie SPIES LIKE US. Who could have imagined the droll and
    measured newscaster could be such a laugh riot! RIP Mr. Newman

    September 15, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. James

    At least he lived to see that America can elect a President that knows English....

    September 15, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ray Porter

    another Great person has left this world

    September 15, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. THE real

    R.I.P Mr. Newman

    September 15, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sue Ellen

    This story's been online for a couple of hours. Why hasn't CNN posted a Sarah Palin tweet about it yet? Are they slipping?

    September 15, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • justsane

      uh, because sarah has never heard of mr. newman? that would be my best guess...

      September 15, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mejazzbo

    Another in a generation of actual newsmen passes on. There can't be too many left. The news people of the current generation obviously have their own agenda to push rather than an unbiased reporting of the real news. They all want to be commentators rather than anchors. RIP! You will be missed.

    September 15, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ray gibbs

    One of the finest newsmen, worldwide, his generation. Watched, read and respected.

    September 15, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. annie

    To Brian:

    It makes me want to read "Strictly Speaking", too. I just looked it up on Amazon and depending on the condition of the book they have it from 1.00 to 25.00 between used and new versions...

    September 15, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Pen Winslow

    I am sorry to hear this sad news, but Mr. Newman lived a long life. I truly loved listening to him speak and respected his vast store of knowledge. My sympathy goes to his family and those who loved him.

    September 15, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. almxx

    It's the march through life to death that all of us making comments are going to take. We are all just prisoners in our bodies, in earth prison, working out our debt. It is just that obvious, and just that hard. The difference is that when we go, very few will take note of it.

    September 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Nancy J. Pedigo-Newman

    Sad day for news.

    September 15, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
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