The "Today" show people at NBC are mourning the loss of a stalwart fan of the program. USA Today reports that Linny Boyette died Sunday of complications following a heart attack. He was 71.
"Boyette was a superfan of the show, and viewers often saw him on camera, standing with the crowds gathered outside the show," the story reports. The show paid tribute to Boyette this morning, the piece notes.
Matt Lauer said this morning on "Today": "For so many years, the first person we saw" was Linny Boyette.
USA Today reports: "A military veteran born in England, Linny took the subway from his home in the Bronx, N.Y., to arrive on the plaza outside ‘Today’ by about 5:30 a.m. Having reserved his spot, he would pass the time until the show began at 7 a.m. by reading the paper, drinking tea and chatting with other fans. ‘It’s something to do every morning. It makes my day,’ he told TODAY.com in 2010."
Boyette had reportedly become particularly close to "Today’s" Meredith Vieira, who was able to convince Boyette to come into the studio last year, after he refused the invitations of crew members.
Vieira reportedly tweeted Sunday night: "So saddened to hear of Linny’s passing. I always loved seeing him every morning on the plaza. He had a wonderful smile and so sweet."