I have seen it as the benchmark for fair, reviewing and thoughtful journalism and know countless others who feel the same way.
Lehrer moderated more presidential debates than anyone else, a total of 12, according to PBS.
"I am devastated to share news that my dear friend and cofounder of the @NEWSHOUR Jim Lehrer died today at home". In 1983, it expanded to the multi-topic MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour; after MacNeil retired in 1995, it became NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.
The half-hour "Robert MacNeil Report" began on PBS in 1975 with Lehrer as Washington correspondent.
PBS continued, "He always told those who worked with him: 'It's not about us.' Night after night, Jim led by example that being yourself - journalist, writer, family man, citizen - can be a high calling". From co-creating the groundbreaking MacNeil/Lehrer Report to skillfully moderating many presidential debates, Jim exemplified excellence in journalism throughout his extraordinary career. Lehrer would proceed on this system till 2011, when it was identified by its present title, PBS NewsHour. A true information and public affairs giant, he leaves an incredible legacy that inspires us all.
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Lehrer also authored about 20 novels, memoirs, and several plays. He received the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton, was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and alongside MacNeil, was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
After graduation from college in 1956, he served three years in the Marines, later calling the experience so valuable that he thought all young people should take part in national service.
He went to work from 1959 to 1970 at the Dallas Morning News and the now-defunct Dallas Times-Herald.
He is survived by his wife, Kate, along with daughters Jamie, Lucy, and Amanda, and six grandchildren.