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Former CBC anchor, 86, dead

Knowlton Nash, a veteran CBC broadcaster best known as long-time anchor of The National, is dead. He was 86. 

The CBC reported Saturday that Nash had been battling Parkinson's for some years.

Nash, who had a 37-year career with Canada's public broadcaster, including spending a decade behind the anchor desk of The National, CBC's flagship news program before the creation of Prime Time News. 

It was there that the broadcaster whose warm eyes appeared magnified behind his oversized glasses earned the unofficial title Uncle Knowlty. It was a reflection of his steady, easy-going style and earnest, scholarly delivery.

Tributes from Canada's media community started pouring as soon as word of Nash's death spread.

"We've lost a very special journalist tonight .. Knowlton Nash has passed away at the age of 86. A great friend and a mentor to so many," tweeted Peter Mansbridge, who took over from Nash as the National's anchor.

"Had the privilege of working many times with Knowlton Nash. The integrity, intelligence and kindness we aspire to. Thinking of you," anchor and reporter Ian Hanomansing tweeted.

There were also tributes from some of the political leaders who Nash interviewed and covered during his long career.

"Arlene and I mourn the passing of Knowlton Nash, who was a friend and mentor over many years," former Ontario premier Bob Rae tweeted.

Ironically, his dedication to the craft led Nash to walk away from perhaps the most influential spot in Canadian television news in April of 1988.

It was the strongest enticement Nash could offer Mansbridge, then a national correspondent for CBC-TV, to stay in Canada.

Mansbridge had reportedly been offered a $1-million salary to co-anchor a morning show on the U.S. network CBS. 

But he agreed to stay over a late-night cup of hot chocolate after Nash volunteered to move to The National's weekend desk. 

His departure, marked by a telephone call by then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, marked the end of one of the most important decades in the history of the CBC's television news division.

 

The Canadian Press

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