Garrick Utley, NBC News Host Who Reported Abroad, Dies at 74

Garrick Utley, who reported from Vietnam and Europe for NBC News and moderated its influential Sunday-morning show, “Meet the Press,” from 1989 to 1991, has died. He was 74.

He died after a long battle with cancer, NBC’s “Today” show reported this morning.

Utley, who also worked for ABC and CNN before his retirement, started his NBC career in 1963 in Europe as a researcher for the “Huntley-Brinkley Report.” He became an on-air reporter in time to cover the Vietnam War for NBC’s nightly news program.

He was NBC’s correspondent in Berlin, Paris and London, then worked in the 1980s as the network’s chief foreign correspondent, based in New York, according to a biography on the website of the State University of New York in Oswego, where last year he became a senior fellow and professor.

Utley left NBC in 1993, reported for ABC in London in the mid-1990s and returned to New York to work for CNN in 1997.

He also hosted opera broadcasts for PBS’s “Live From the Met.”

Clifton Garrick Utley was born on Nov. 19, 1939, in Chicago to Clifton Maxwell and Frayn Garrick Utley, according to Marquis Who’s Who. His father was a well-known figure on Chicago radio and television. His mother served on the school board and was a radio and TV commentator.

Newsman’s Stature

He received a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, in 1961 and did graduate studies in Germany at Free University of Berlin from 1962 to 1963, according to Who’s Who.

Utley, who was 6 feet, 6 inches tall, met his much-shorter wife, the former Gertje Rommeswinkel, in Paris in 1970, according to a New York Times article about the publication, just eight days apart in 2000, of their books.

Utley’s book, “You Should Have Been Here Yesterday: A Life Story in Television News,” included his first-hand accounts of covering the 1968 Soviet invasion of Prague and the 1973 Yom Kippur War between Israel and its Arab neighbors. He also detailed his concerns about declining interest among U.S. news shows, and their viewers, in international affairs.

His wife, an art historian who he married in 1973, wrote “Picasso: The Communist Years.”