Edwin Newman Dies at 91

By Alex Weprin Comment

ednewman091510.jpgLongtime NBC News correspondent and “language cop” Edwin Newman has died. He was 91 years old.

Newman was with the network for 24 years, covering politics and foreign affairs until his retirement in 1984.

He also hosted a weekly series, “Speaking Freely” which featured hour-long conversations with individuals in various fields.

Newman was renowned for being a language expert, writing two bestselling books about the English language: A Civil Tongue and Strictly Speaking.

“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,” said NBC News president Steve Capus 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. Speaking on behalf of my colleagues at NBC News, Edwin will be missed as a journalist, and as a respected member of the NBC News family.”

Comments on the passing of Newman from Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw are after the jump.

Brian Williams:

“Ed Newman was never preachy or pedantic. He was approachable, elegant and precise. 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.”

Tom Brokaw:

“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. He was always a gentleman and a reassuring presence in our midst.”