Legedary 'Today' Show Host Jim Hartz Has Passed Away at 82

Chris Barilla - Author

Apr. 25 2022, Published 11:37 a.m. ET

Back in the 1970s, millions of viewers tuned in to see Jim Hartz and Barbara Walters' smiling faces each day as they co-anchored Today. Even after leaving the show, Jim remained a constant figure in the media, anchoring various other news programs throughout his career.

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Unfortunately, Jim passed away at 82 years old, leaving a massive void in the world of broadcast journalism. In the wake of his death, many of his peers paid tribute to Jim's remarkable achievements.

With that being said, what exactly was Jim's cause of death? Here's what we know about the anchor's passing.

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What was Jim Hartz's cause of death?

Deadline writes that Jim passed away at 82 years old from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to his wife, Alexandra Dickson Hartz. In the wake of his passing, Jim's peers honored his long and storied legacy in journalism.

Hoda Kotb paid tribute to Jim on Today on April 25, 2022. In her touching reflection, she noted that Jim's true love was reporting on NASA space launches, something he did on many occasions throughout his career.

Steve Herman, chief national correspondent for The Voice of America, wrote his own tribute to the late anchor on social media. "Saddened to hear former ⁦@TODAYshow⁩ co-host Jim Hartz has died. I was fortunate to work with him in #Japan where he co-anchored Asia Now, a weekly news show produced by ⁦@nhk_news⁩ with ⁦@KCTS9⁩ and ⁦@pbshawaii⁩."

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How did Jim Hartz get started in journalism?

Born on Feb. 3, 1940, in Tulsa, Okla., Jim studied at the University of Tulsa, where he initially enrolled as a premed student. After about three years, he decided that journalism was his true calling, per Wikipedia. In 1962, Jim nabbed his first job as a reporter for KOTV and was later promoted to news director for the same network. By 24, he became the youngest correspondent that NBC had ever hired, and in 1974, he was tapped to host Today alongside Barbara Walters.

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Hosting Today would become the biggest role of Jim's career. Despite only working on the show for only two years, Jim became a familiar face to millions. After Today, Jim worked with WRC-TV and PBS, and won a remarkable five Emmy Awards and two Ace Awards for cable television.

Jim is survived by his wife, Alexandra, his daughters, Jana Hartz Maher and Nancy Hartz Cole, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Our thoughts are with Jim's family, friends, colleagues, and fans during this difficult time.

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