This April 18, 2013 photo released by NBC shows co-hosts, from left, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer and Al Roker on the set of NBC News' "Today" show in New York. (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer) AP
His passing leaves a gaping hole in Rockefeller Plaza.
For 20 years, military veteran Linny Boyette was a staple in the plaza, waking up at 3:30 a.m. to take the subway from the Bronx to reserve his spot in the crowd by 5:30 a.m. He would then read the paper and socialize with other fans before the show started at 7 a.m.
On Sunday, Boyette, best known as the morning show's "superfan," died from complications after a heart attack. He was 71.
The Today show shared the news via social media: "We are saddened to announce the death of TODAY superfan Linny Coyette. Sending our condolences to his family."
Former show host, Meredith Vieira, who shared a special bond with Boyette, tweeted later, "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." Willie Geist wrote, "An insitution on the plaza. RIP, Linny."
Monday morning, a tough one for the Today show's hosts, was dedicated to the late superfan. Matt Lauer said Boyette was a "part of the show," while Al Roker remembered him as a "good luck charm."