Jim Vance, a veteran Washington reporter for NBC4, died on Friday.
He was 75.
Vance — who anchored the news desk for more than 45 years — recently revealed to his colleagues and viewers in May that he was battling cancer, but not did not reveal what type of cancer. He died on Saturday, the network confirmed.
“For more than 45 years, Jim Vance was not only the soul of NBC4 but of the entire Washington area,” NBC4 president Jackie Bradford said in a statement. “His smooth voice, brilliant mind and unforgettable laugh leaves each of us with a tremendous void.”
The network and viewers shared an outpouring of grief on Saturday after having learned of Vance’s death.
The mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser, called Vance’s passing “a loss for D.C.”
“Our thoughts & prayers are w/ his family,” she wrote. “Jim Vance was a steady voice who shared the news — good or bad — with grace.”
“So sad to hear of Jim Vance’s passing. He defined what was best about journalism in DC & never lost the common touch,” former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted on Saturday.
Vance — who was consistently referred to as a legend — was so loved in the city that a mural was created of his likeness at the popular D.C. eatery Ben’s Chili Bowl.
“He was as smooth as they come,” one Twitter user wrote.
Another added, “Jim Vance was the best anchor for news and laughs.”
Vance started on NBC4 as a reporter in 1969 and became an anchor three years later, according to the Washington Post. He was the area’s longest serving newscaster, anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. broadcasts since 1989.
He garnered widespread sympathy for being open about his struggles with drugs and depression.