Hugh co-anchored NBC’s Today show from 1962 to 1971 and for 21 years hosted ABC evening news magazine 20/20. His family confirmed the sad loss in a statement and explained the broadcaster had died from natural causes at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona.
He had lived in the state with his wife Ruth, whom he married in 1944.
Hugh’s wife Ruth died three years ago, and the anchor is survived by his children Hugh and Deirdre, his brother, Wallace, and two grandchildren.
The popular broadcaster had a long-standing working relationship with Barbara Walters in the 1960s.
Barbara also then joined him as a co-anchor on 20/20 for 20 years, until he retired in 1999.
Tributes have been pouring in on social media, as people offered their condolences.
One person tweeted: “RIP Hugh Downs. He always had his finger on the pulse of the nation.”
“I really loved watching Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters host ’20/20′ on Friday nights,” another person commented.
While a third person added: “RIP to Hugh Downs. He was a real one.”