By Darren Franich
Updated August 04, 2013 at 12:39 PM EDT

Longtime NBC News correspondent John Palmer has died at the age of 77 after a brief illness, the network has confirmed. Palmer started working at NBC in 1962 and reported for the network in various capacities over the next four decades, serving as the White House correspondent during the administrations of Presidents Carter and Reagan and as news anchor for Today in the ’80s. He retired in 2002. In a statement released by the network, NBC describes Palmer as “a brilliant, brave, and tireless journalist who guided viewers through many of the most significant events of the past half-century — from the early days of the civil rights movement through the tragedy of 9/11.”