Bill Monroe, the longtime host of "Meet the Press," has died at age 90. Here's an historic clip from MSNBC (on the jump); the NBC obit; and NBC News chief Steve Capus: “Bill Monroe’s contributions to NBC News as Washington Bureau Chief and Moderator of Meet the Press are countless and considerable. His courage in covering the civil rights movement, and his groundbreaking interviews with the newsmakers of his time puts Bill as one of our nation’s preeminent journalists. He was a true crusader.”
"Former NBC Newsman Bill Monroe — who moderated "Meet the Press" for nearly a decade (Nov. 16, 1975 to Sept. 9, 1984) — passed away Feb. 17, 2011, at the age of 90. In his nine years as moderator, Monroe interviewed such notable figures as PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and President Jimmy Carter. Before serving as the fourth moderator of the program, Monroe regularly appeared on Meet the Press as a weekly panelist questioning newsmaker guests. He also served as Washington Bureau Chief for NBC News and frequently reported for The Today Show, conducting interviews and appearing in a segment he created that was devoted to airing viewers' letters. In 1972, he was awarded the prestigious Peabody Award -- among television journalism's highest honors. Monroe was well-known for his crusading television editorials urging an end to segregation, and at every step of his career worked to maintain his reputation as an unbiased journalist. A native of New Orleans, La., he attended Tulane University and was the first news director for WDSU-TV, his hometown NBC News affiliate. Monroe began his journalism career as a reporter for The States-Item (now The Times-Picayune) after serving in Italy during WWII."