He was a part of the NBC morning show for 20 years — a superfan who nearly everyday could be found among the crowd of spectators who gather early each morning outside the “Today Show’s” Rockefeller Center studios in New York.
“To us, he was part of the family,” said news anchor Natalie Morales on the show Monday morning, as she reported the sad news that this superfan, New York City resident Linny Boyette, had died Sunday of complications following a heart attack. He was 71.
She then told his touching story, of how this Bronx resident first came to love “The Today Show” while serving overseas with the United States military in the 1960s — a glimpse of home for a young man who was faraway.
She told how he boarded a subway to midtown Manhattan at 3:30 every morning to take his spot behind the barricades set up outside “The Today Show.” Over the years, the show’s stars recognized him and often included him in their outdoor segments.
The tribute that aired Monday on “Today” — which you can watch, above — contained many of these clips, including the one time the reluctant Linny was persuaded by an assertive Meredith Vieira to come inside for the first and only time.
“Around here, we considered ourselves lucky to know him,” Morales said.