Today Show Anchor Retires: Mike Leonard Leaves After Three Decades On The Air

Today show anchor Mike Leonard retires after 30 years on the air, leaving in an emotional farewell with fellow on-air talent.

In his final segment on the Today show before retiring, Leonard gave viewers an intimate glimpse of his home life, showing his family as he celebrated his 65th birthday he shares with a grandchild. In the segment Mike Leonard paid tribute to his wife, who he said inspired him to “see the beauty in our everyday existence.”

Leonard noted that his wife, Cathy, worked hard behind the scenes to support him and allow him to go on-air to tell stories for the past 32 years, often using their home as a setting for filming.

“When the end comes, we often look back to the beginning and wonder how we ever made it through the pain, the fear, the worry, and the uncertainty,” Leonard said in his final segment on the Today show. “Where did our strength come from, and our inspiration, and our hope. Who pulled us through?”

As the Today show anchor retires, he also looks back on his career, recalling how he got his first on-air job in Arizona at age 30 after showing a news director his home movies.

Mike Leonard gained a reputation for his human interest stories, like one from February on James Hundley, the 63-year-old mailman whose route includes the building where Leonard’s son has a production studio. The story was one of Leonard’s favorites of his 32-year career, WPTV reported.

“Your stories … are a microcosm of you,” said Matt Lauer as the Today show anchor retires. “They all have incredible heart, they’re told with kindness, and hope, and modesty. They are understated and yet so powerful, and that is you in a nutshell.”