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Legendary NYC television reporter Gabe Pressman dead at 93

Posted at 7:59 AM, Jun 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-23 23:02:33-04

NEW YORK –– Legendary journalist and one of New York City's first television reporters Gabe Pressman has died. He was 93.

Pressman, whose career spanned more than 60 years,  died in his sleep Friday morning, a person close to the family told PIX11.

The television icon worked for WNBC as a senior correspondent for decades.

"This is an incredibly sad day for the WNBC family. Gabe Pressman was a television icon who served our viewers for more than 50 years," Eric Lerner, WNBC president and general manager, said in a statement. "He was truly one of a kind and represented the very best in television news reporting. Gabe was still coming to work and thinking about the next story."

Pressman got his start in journalism as reporter for the Newark Evening News in 1947 upon graduating from the Columbia School of Journalism.  He later transitioned into radio and then television, where he hosted New York's first early-evening half-hour broadcast. He covered the New York region for NBC News, WNBC-TV and WNBC radio.

Pressman also briefly worked for WNEW-TV, now known as WNYW, from 1972 and 1979.

Among the highlights of his storied career include interviews with Marilyn Monroe and Fidel Castro, and covering events such as the 1964 arrival of the Beatles at JFK, and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Jr.

Politicians and journalists tweeted out their condolences after news of his death spread.

"Gabe Pressman was a New York City treasure," de Blasio tweeted. "He was a mentor to countless reporters doing vital work today. He'll be deeply missed."

"Joining my friends at WNBC in NY in mourning loss of Gabe Pressman," NBC Nightly news anchor Lester Holt wrote. "Broadcast news pioneer and role model to generations of news people."

Pressman is survived by his wife, four children and eight grandchildren.