Longtime justice correspondent Pete Williams is retiring from NBC after nearly three decades with the network.
News of Williams’ retirement came Thursday in a memo NBC News President Noah Oppenheim sent to staff that was obtained by The Hill.
“Pete has been one of the nation’s foremost authorities covering the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice for nearly three decades. His career has been defined by his reputation for accuracy, reliability, and unmatched expertise in the subjects he covers,” Oppenheim said. “From the most consequential Supreme Court cases of our time – like marriage equality and the legal battles over the Affordable Care Act – to major breaking news events – like 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing, and so much more – Pete’s reporting has always been ironclad. His ability to break down the most complex and fast-developing situations is uncanny.”
Williams, who got his start in local news, first came to Washington, D.C., in 1986 as a press aide for then-Rep. Dick Cheney. He later served as a Pentagon spokesperson during the administration of former President George H.W. Bush.
Since breaking into journalism, Williams has earned a reputation as one of the most dogged and plugged-in court watchers in the media. He most recently broke the story of the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer earlier this year.
Andrea Mitchell, one of Williams’ longtime colleagues at the network, called Williams “simply superb, as a human being, as a journalist, as a friend, and as a colleague,” during a recent interview with The Washington Post.
“He combines a wonderful sense of humor and a great sense of humanity with tireless, careful, fact-perfect journalism,” Mitchell said.
Oppenheim said Thursday Williams, 70, had “agreed” to stay with NBC through July, which he said would allow “for countless more opportunities to celebrate him.”