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David Broder, the dean of the Washington press corps, dies at 81

Veteran political reporter David Broder has passed away at the age of 81, the Washington Post is reporting.  The Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and columnist was known as the dean of the Washington press corps, a nickname earned during a career that stretched over 40 years. 

Broder had covered national politics for the Post since the late 1960s and became an institution for the generations of political reporters who followed.  "He was the political journalist every young reporter wanted to be," NBC 's Chuck Todd said upon learning of Broder's death.

As the paper notes, Broder covered every political convention since 1956 and "was widely regarded as the political journalist with the best-informed contacts, from the lowliest precinct to the highest rungs of government."  Click here to read the full Washington Post remembrance.

Update -- more thoughts from Chuck Todd:  "Before the phrase 'conventional wisdom' became used as a negative, in fact, before it was even a phrase, there was David Broder -- because he was the guy defining it.  Folks in Washington pretended to sound smart by reading David Broder. He was a political junkie in every sense of the word, he just loved it all, the campaigns, the policy debates, the personalities and even the negative stuff. He loved because he saw the good in it."  

"But what made wanting to read Broder and talk to Broder and listen to Broder on one of his numerous appearances on 'Meet the Press,' was that he was so accessible. He never turned up his nose at anyone, not a reader, not an intern, not a colleague, not a competitor. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. It's not just the jounalism that's going to be missed, but the man."