A host of the nightly PBS "NewsHour" that for decades offered a thoughtful take on current events has died.

PBS says Jim Lehrer died Thursday. He was 85.

Like longtime partner Robert MacNeil, Lehrer saw broadcast journalism as a service, its main goal to help the public understand events and issues.

The two began the nightly reports on PBS in 1975, and the program was later expanded to an hour.

The show featured detailed reports and discussions of politics, international relations, science, and even the arts. MacNeil stepped down from the show in 1995.

Lehrer was also a frequent moderator of presidential debates.

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