The Daily Nightly from NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams

About this blog

The Daily Nightly began on May 31, 2005. As Brian wrote in his first post it aims to provide a narrative of the broadcast day and a window into the editorial process at NBC Nightly News. Brian weighs in every weekday and NBC News correspondents and producers post regularly.

Brian Williams became the seventh anchor and managing editor in the history of NBC Nightly News on December 2, 2004. Read his full biography.

A personal note

I was in New Orleans this morning when I received word that my sister, Mary Jane Esser, had died after a long and courageous struggle with breast cancer. She was a mother of five children and grandmother of four, and was a foster parent for infants in need. She was 60 years old.

I was with my sister before departing for New Orleans. I had planned to return to her bedside after my trip, but she slipped away this morning. While I very badly wanted to celebrate Mardi Gras with the people of New Orleans and broadcast live from there over the next two nights, it is imperative now that I be with my family during this time. Campbell Brown has graciously agreed to fill in for me, and I'm so very grateful for that.

I'm also very grateful for the years I had with my sister, and for the expressions of condolence I have already received from my NBC family. I know so many of our viewers have many similar experiences -- and I join millions in hoping for a cure in our lifetime.

Read more from Brian Williams 2006

MAIN PAGE NEXT POST On tonight's broadcast

Email this EMAIL THIS


Brian, I too understand the loss of a loved one to breast cancer. My God-Mother passed some years ago, and though she may not be here with me on earth her sweet spirit and all that she meant to me shall live forever in my heart. May the "sweet spirit" of your sister do the same for you, as well!

Mr. Williams:

Your loss became known to me many weeks ago.
Though busy with my 3 girls, it never left my mind for long. I have now come here to say, simply, you're highly respected by me and you have my sincere thoughts. She left on my birthday. The circle of life goes on and I'm proud you have as well.

Telise Marie

Dear Brian,
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. She truly sounds like a wonderful, caring and giving person. There is another bright star in the sky Just look up!!

Dear Brian, I am so sorry for your loss, Take time as everyone is telling you, but as my sister told me " Don't stay down in the Valley too long" God Bless, With love and friendship,


I watch you with my family each night, so in a way you have become one of our family. I was sorry to hear of the loss of your sister. My family's thoughts and prayers are with you.

To the Williams/Esser Family,
So sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved Mary Jane. There is a poem that I keep close that reminds me that the love of those who leave us is all around us, as long as we keep their memory alive: "Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep, I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn's rain. When you awaken in the morning's hush, I am the swift uplifting rush, Of quiet birds in circled flight, I am the soft stars that shine at night, Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there, I did not die." Author Unknown

May your lives be filled with sweet memories of your beloved Mary Jane.

Brian i am so sorry for the loss of your sister.. take much time as you need. my heart goes out to you and your family during this time and always look foward seeing you back when you come back take care good work on nightly news!

Dear Brian
I am so sorry to hear that you lost your sister to breast cancer. I lost my sister to breast cancer in 1997 and i miss her very much. You and your family are in my prayers always.

Sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Jay, Phoenix, AZ

Dear Brian, I am from a family of four daughters (I'm the eldest). My youngest sister was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago. After a mystectomy and chemo, it appears to be in remission. I can only imagine what it would have been like to have lost her. You and your family have the prayers and love of all of us "girls". You are loved and respected.


My wife contracted breast cancer seven years ago and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. It is my sincere prayer that God will grant you a peace that passes all understanding as you and your family go through these difficult days. You are in my thoughts.

I too saw the interview where you spoke to Tim Russert about your sister. The pride, love and warmth in your face spoke volumes. She must have been a special lady.


My thoughts are with you and your family during this most difficult time. May the memories you have of your beloved sister be a comfort to you and all who loved her.

My condolences are with you, too. And as an old prayer in Germany says: "The Great and Generous Shall Not Be Forgotten". My prayers are with you, your family and all your relatives who mourning an important family member. My God be with You and bless your family

My daughter and I, too, am sorry for the lost of your sister. I have four sisters and two brothers and can't imagine life without them. You and your family are in our prayers.

Dear Brian,

I hope that you and your family know that you are not alone in the grief of losing a sibling. We are very sorry for your loss.

Don't know if you remember me from High School. But we watch you every night. We were so saddened by your loss. Please know we send our sympathy. You are a remarkable person and I know you will find the strength you need at this time. Our best to you and your family.

Brian, Our heartfelt sympathy to you and your family over the loss of your sister. Our family like so many others, has also been touched by breast cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time in your life. God bless you and your family.

Brian, we want to be among the millions to offer your family our love and wishes for peace of heart at this time.

Brian, you and your family are in my prayers. I watch you every night and now while your sister looks down upon you, she will be proud and now she is your Guardian Angel. Peace be with you.

Mr. Williams,
My husband and I comment often about the fact that it is so refreshing to watch your broadcast because of your wit, kindness, and ability to connect with anyone you interview. Your coverage of Katrina made me a believer in your understanding of the power and profound effect you have in your position as an anchor. This is an opportunity for us to give back the same feelings of strength and hope you give to so many of us every night. Your words about your sister and her amazing heart and spirit are an honor to her and an honor to us that you would share her story. You and your family are my prayers and I am sure the prayers of all of your viewers.

I was so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister, but I hope you can find comfort in knowing that she's in a better place now. My thoughts are prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.
With deepest sympathy...

Brian: Sorry 'bout your sister, I had a dear friend pass away in '96 with the same illness! I still think in this great country that somewhere,sometime, somehow a young kid in medical school is going to discover a simple equation which will wipe out all cancers from the world!
Just remember:
"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."
Deuteronomy 33:27

The Carrino family sends our love and condolences to you and your family. We will keep you all in our prayers.

Dear Brian,
I was so saddened to learn of your sister's death. You and all the wonderful folks at NBC actually become part of our day would not be complete without the Today Show, NBC Nightly News and Dateline....I feel like I know each one of you personally and my heart aches for you and your family in this loss. May God bless you and comfort you as he welcomes another angel to heaven.

Comments for this entry have been closed


Trackbacks are links to weblogs that reference this post. Like comments, trackbacks do not appear until approved by us. The trackback URL for this post is: