Audio technician Larry Edgeworth died last week after testing positive for the coronavirus

By Jodi Guglielmi
March 23, 2020 12:03 PM

Lester Holt is remembering his late co-worker Larry Edgeworth, who died after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Holt took time during Friday night’s episode of NBC Nightly News to pay tribute to Edgeworth with a heartfelt message on behalf of himself and his colleagues.

“This horror we’re going through is perhaps too easily reduced into numbers — the number of tests, the numbers of infected, the number of dead,” he said. “Allow me a moment to put just one face to those numbers, a face we here at NBC News know well. Our colleague and friend Larry Edgeworth, we lost him to this virus last night. We, like families everywhere who have suffered loss, are grieving.”

The journalist then recalled his many years working with Edgeworth, calling the audio technician, 61, a “kind and generous man who always made us smile.”

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Patrick Randak/NBC; Inset: Savannah Guthrie/Instagram

“Larry was an audio engineer, he worked in the field covering stories all over the world. Larry and I logged some interesting times together in some interesting places,” Holt continued. “If Larry was your sound guy, you knew you were going to be fine — both technically, and in every other way. A gentle giant, as one of our colleagues so aptly described him, who you knew had your back. Larry was a kind and generous man who always made us smile. Our heartfelt condolences to his family and his many colleagues here at NBC. We are heartbroken.”

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NBC Chairman Andy Lack confirmed Edgeworth’s death in a staff memo on Friday. Edgeworth was 61.

Edgeworth “suffered from other health issues that led him to succumb to the illness,” Lack said in his memo, obtained by PEOPLE. Edgeworth had worked at NBC for 25 years in audio and in the equipment room, Lack said, and was a “longtime member of our NBC News family.”

After the news of his death, Savannah Guthrie shared several photos of Edgeworth, calling him a “joy” to work with.

“My heart breaks this morning at the loss of NBC audio technician Larry Edgeworth (pictured right) due to COVID19. I adored Larry. We traveled together for two straight months on a campaign in 2008 and he was always the most warm, most professional, most loving,” she wrote. “All hours of the day and night, no matter how hungry or tired or stressed we were – he was always a joy. He loved his work and excelled at it. He loved his colleagues and boy did we love him. Larry, dear, I will miss you. My deepest condolences and prayers to his family.”

As of Monday morning, there have been over 33,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and 428 deaths, according to a New York Times database. With West Virginia reporting their first case last Tuesday evening, the virus has now spread to all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Globally, Johns Hopkins University reports, there have been more than 350,000 total confirmed cases, including over 15,000 deaths and 100,182 total recovered patients.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.