Mike Leonard has been a part of the TODAY family for over three decades, covering stories about ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things.
Thursday, he announced his retirement with an incredible special tribute to a not-so-ordinary person in his own life — his wife, Cathy — who has inspired him "to see the beauty in our everyday existence.”
"Your stories...are a microcosm of you," said Matt Lauer after Mike's final segment aired and the tears were wiped away. "They all have incredible heart, they're told with kindness, and hope, and modesty. They are understated and yet so powerful, and that is you in a nutshell."
"You have an amazing gift, an amazing talent," said Savannah Guthrie.
Among Mike's favorite stories, he said, is this one, about a remarkable Chicago mailman:
And here's one of our favorites, about a day in the life of the Leonard household:
The studio was emotional as Cathy and members of the Leonard family were there to see him off. Fans reacted online, too:
Thanks, Mike, for 32 amazing years!
More Mike: Why I shop where everybody knows my name
Quadriplegic man fulfills dreams of biking across country
How a simple question revealed a remarkable story