Lloyd Dobyns Jr., an award-winning NBC News correspondent who reported from places around the world and who anchored an innovative U.S. television newscast in the early 1980s, has died, his family said. He was 85.
Ken Dobyns said in a statement that his father died Sunday in Mebane, North Carolina, northwest of Raleigh. He said his father suffered complications from a series of strokes.
Dobyns worked for NBC News in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, and was known in the U.S. for working with Linda Ellerbee on the late-night news series “NBC News Overnight” in 1982 and 1983, according to a statement released by Ken Dobyns and online with a Raleigh funeral home.
“He was a friend, teacher, trouble-maker, and a world-class journalist,” Ellerbee said in the statement. “I shall miss him more than I can say.”
Dobyns was born in Newport News, Virginia, on March 12, 1936. After serving in the U.S. Army, he began his broadcasting career as a reporter for WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1957. Three years later, he became a news anchor at WAVY-TV, the NBC affiliate in Virginia's Tidewater area, and advanced to news director, the family statement said.
In 1969, Dobyns left Virginia for New York, where he first became managing editor of WNEW-TV, then as part of the NBC News team. He worked as a foreign correspondent before returning to New York to anchor the TV news magazine Weekend, winning a prestigious Peabody Award in 1975.
Dobyns set the style for Weekend, a writing and reporting style that continued after he was joined by the equally droll and witty Ellerbee – the first time the two were paired on air, the statement added.
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After leaving NBC News Overnight, Dobyns anchored the short-lived TV magazine “Monitor.” In a documentary titled “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?” he reported on the Japanese boom at a time when American manufacturing was faltering. The documentary's success led him to co-write several books about Japan’s economic success.
Dobyns won more than two-dozen awards for reporting, writing, and anchoring while with NBC News. He retired in 1986.