Hugh Downs dies at 99

The former “20/20” and ABC News personality and longtime TV presence died at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Wednesday.
2:36 | 07/02/20

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Transcript for Hugh Downs dies at 99
it all. The looks, the voice and the heart. Tonight, celebrating the life and legacy of one of our own. Good evening. I'm Hugh downs, and this is "20/20." Reporter: For more than 20 years, he was the reassuring voice of Friday night. Good evening, I'm Hugh downs. And I'm Barbara Walters. And this is "20/20." Reporter: But Hugh downs' legendary career began decades earlier. At one point, he logged more hours on television than any other person. Though at first, he didn't think TV would last. I thought it was a gimmick, like 3D movies and it would just go away. Reporter: So the young man from Akron, Ohio, started out in radio. They offered me a job for $12.50 a week. That's how I started in broadcasting. Reporter: When he finally made the jump to the small screen, he was everywhere. Jack Parr's sidekick on "The tonight show." What are you doing? Are you doing a show on the side here? Reporter: The host of the classic game show "Concentration." Congratulations to you on that win. Reporter: In 1962, he went over to NBC's "Today show" and when the network was looking to pair him with a cohost, downs had an idea. I said why don't we develop our own talent, and they said, such as? I said, Barbara Walters. They said, she's a writer. And I said, well, I think she'd do well on the air. Reporter: And so began one of the longest partnerships in TV history. Ten years at NBC, before the duo made the jump to ABC news and "20/20." His stories took him up in the air. Now see our much rudder there is? Oh, yeah. Reporter: And deep into the ocean. He even played an astronaut for a story on training for space travel. True story, there's an asteroid named after him. 71,000 Hugh downs. And every Friday night, that sign-off. We're in touch, so you be in touch. Reporter: Hugh downs was married to his wife Ruth for 73 years. They had two children. He wrote 17 books, played and composed music. But when Barbara Walters asked him that famous question, he was humble. We used to ask this of people so I'm going to put you on the how do you want to be remembered? I hope I'll be remembered as a guy who tried to do some good and who was, most importantly, is honest. I don't -- I can't see any greatness that I would be remembered for, but if people think kindly of me, I'll be happy at that. Hugh downs was 99. Our thoughts and prayers with his family tonight. Thank you so much for watching. I'm Tom llamas. I'll see you right back here tomorrow. Stay safe.

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

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