Jim Lehrer of the ‘MacNeil-Lehrer Report’ dies at 85

John McCain, Barack Obama

FILE – This Sept. 26, 2008 file photo shows debate moderator Jim Lehrer during the first U.S. Presidential Debate between presidential nominees Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. PBS announced that PBS NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer died Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, at home. He was 85. (AP Photo/Chip Somodevilla, File)

NEW YORK (AP) –  Jim Lehrer, co-host and later host of the nightly PBS “NewsHour” that for decades offered a thoughtful take on current events, has died, PBS said Thursday. 

Like longtime partner Robert MacNeil, Lehrer saw broadcast journalism as a service, its main goal to help the public understand events and issues.

The two began the nightly reports on PBS in 1975, and the program was later expanded to an hour.

The show featured detailed reports and discussions of politics, international relations, science, and even the arts. MacNeil stepped down from the show in 1995. Lehrer was also a frequent moderator of presidential debates.

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