WASHINGTON, DC -- JUNE 17: Jim Vance in the newsroom. Doreen Gentzler and Jim Vance have been at NBC4.They've been continuously anchoring the 6 pm and 11 pm broadcasts since 1989.
The Washington Post—The Washington Post/Getty Images
July 22, 2017 2:18 PM EDT

Jim Vance, the longest-serving news anchor of Washington, D.C., died Saturday at the age of 75, NBC affiliate WRC-TV reported.

Vance, who anchored NBC4’s news desk for more than 45 years, told viewers in May that he was undergoing treatment for cancer, but did not reveal what type of cancer he was diagnosed with.

“So I have been getting that treatment, and I have been coming into work with my partners here whenever I can, and I shall continue to do that. In fact, I will insist on doing that,” Vance said on-air at the time. “I love what I do.”

“For more than 45 years, Jim Vance was not only the soul of NBC4 but of the entire Washington area. His smooth voice, brilliant mind and unforgettable laugh leaves each of us with a tremendous void,” NBC4 president and general manager Jackie Bradford said in a statement Saturday.

Vance began his reporting career at the the Philadelphia Independent newspaper and radio station WHAT-AM, while holding down a teaching position in the Philadelphia public school system, according to his biography on the station’s website.

He joined NBC Washington in 1969 as a reporter before moving to the anchor chair in 1972. His 11 p.m. broadcasts regularly drew more viewers than the prime-time shows on CNN, Fox and MSNBC combined, according to the Washington Post.

“Our thoughts & prayers are w/ his family. Jim Vance was a steady voice who shared the news – good or bad – with grace,” Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted. “This is a loss for DC.”

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