News legend Brian Henderson dead at 89

Toni Mason, Caroline Riches and Angelo RissoAAP
Long-time Nine News anchor and television news legend Brian Henderson has died aged 89.
Camera IconLong-time Nine News anchor and television news legend Brian Henderson has died aged 89. Credit: AAP

Legendary television news anchor Brian Henderson has died aged 89 after multiple battles with cancer.

Henderson anchored the Nine Network’s news bulletin from 1957 to his retirement in 2002 and always ended his newscasts with “and that’s the way it is” or “the way it is”.

After surviving bowel, prostate, throat and skin cancers, Henderson learned in 2019 that his doctors had detected a kidney tumour.

At 88, the retired newsreader chose not to have chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery.

Henderson faced his mortality with grace and good spirits.

Former Channel 9 Sydney newsreader Brian Henderson, photographed in his home in Middle Harbour,ahead of the Logies, Sydney, March 22, 2013. Pic - Sam Mooy
Camera IconBrian Henderson has died aged 89. Sam Mooy Credit: News Limited

His only concern was for his wife of 48 years, Mardi, “who may be a bit lonely when I’m gone”.

“I’m not afraid of death - in fact, I welcome it,” he told The Daily Telegraph in February 2020.

“I’ve had a wonderful life. How blessed can you be?”

Henderson died in Sydney early on Thursday morning, 19 years after he retired from television.

“He fought hard, he was peaceful and that’s what gave the family so much comfort,” current Nine News anchor Peter Overton told Sydney radio 2GB.

“He was part of the fabric at Channel Nine, part of the fabric of the Australian media.”

Henderson, who was recognised with many Australian honours, was born in New Zealand, on September 15, 1931.

His broadcasting career began after he contracted tuberculosis while attending Waitiki Boys’ High, a boarding school on the South Island.

During the three years he spent convalescing at a sanatorium, he became the facility’s resident disc jockey before joining radio 4ZB in Dunedin at 16.

In 1953, he moved across the Tasman and landed a job on Sydney radio station 2CH, making the shift to television at Sydney’s Channel Nine in 1957.

He is survived by Mardi and their two children, Nicole and Jody. Henderson also had two children from an earlier marriage.

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