Jim Hartz, the veteran who provided the space program for a decade and organized it in the 1970s alongside him, has died. He was 82.
Hartz died at the age of 17 at an all-time high at a hospital in Fairfax County, Virginia, according to his wife Alexandra.
Hartz beat out Tom Brokaw and Tom Snyder when he was inducted into Today's co-hosting group in July 1974. McGee had spent three years on the job before dying of bone cancer at the age of 52.
In June 1976, when Walters joined ABC News, Jane Pauley resigned, Hartz was removed in favor of Brokaw. He spent a brief stint as a correspondent before leaving the network.
When he was 24 years old, the Tulsa native and his father were working at KOTV, a CBS affiliate, as a reporter and morning-show host in his hometown. He became WNBC-TV in 1964, at the age of 24, as one of the country's youngest local news anchors.
Hartz covered all of the manned flights for the US space program from 1966 to 1976, including the Apollo launches that sent the first astronauts to the moon.
Hartz co-anchored the news for WRC-TV in Washington from 1977 to 1979, and succeeded Hugh Downs to co-host with Mary Martin PBS' Over Easy, a science show aimed at aging gracefully. He also hosted the PBS Innovation program.
The five-time Emmy winner served as a visiting scholar at Vanderbilt University and served as the chairman of the Will Rogers Memorial Commission for years.
Out of his wife of 42 years, his daughters, Jana and Nancy, and six grandchildren are among the survivors.