Hugh Downs, former “20/20” host whose TV career spanned decades, dies at 99

From swimming with sharks to training for a space mission, Downs’ half-century career included once holding the Guinness record for most total hours on network TV. He died at his home in Arizona.
2:35 | 07/04/20

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Transcript for Hugh Downs, former “20/20” host whose TV career spanned decades, dies at 99
Good evening I'm Hugh downs. Hugh downs wasn't just an anchor he was one of the guys who invented eclipse. I should say who I am tonight. I'm Hugh downs he began in radio hosted game shows like concentration. Well congratulations for your honor we. He's curious minds led him to the anchor desk at NBC's today show where they were searching for a movie star to be his co host as he recalled to the television academy foundation. And I civil why don't we develop our own tell all inclusive rules such as my subscription Barbara Walters. And they says she's a writer and deserves and I shall I survive things you do well here. Barbara Walters and Hugh downs we're teamed up The Today Show I'm and to do it yourself are certain on the group's. Good evening the Utah teen years later they both found a home at a show called 20/20. Q was genuinely interested in everything and and we want. Downs was born with the wonder. He had. More curiosity about more things than any human being I've ever known. It was my turn to fly stories that got him up in the air. Now or down into a shark cage. And I reached out and grabbed his pectoral fin. In a segment on astronaut training he flew in the jet that simulates weightlessness. The North Pole he played softball. Even when the subject was his own double knee replacement he was delighted to let the audience go along for the ride as an anesthetic world. The page search and hard work began whose avuncular. He was accessible he was Smart fight through the Everyman. Hugh downs who has been and you saw on the air off the. Downs wrote several books he wants and needs he was married to wife Ruth was sent any three years and two children. He composed music. And listening to you down this road. I hope I be remembered as. Who tried to do some. Who was and most importantly is honest. I don't I can't see any greatness that I would be remembered for but if people think finally available you have to. We think of him kindly and very kindly indeed. One last time is famous sign off. There's Playboy for tonight word and touch so you be in touch.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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