'Today' mourns death of 'superfan' Linny Boyette

"Today" has lost its biggest fan: Linny Boyette, who made the trek to Rockefeller Plaza to join the show's live audience nearly every weekday for the past 20 years, died Sunday due to complications from a heart attack. He was 71, according to "Today."

The program confirmed the sad news Sunday night via Twitter, where Meredith Vieira and Willie Geist both mourned his passing.

On Monday morning, the show aired a segment remembering Boyette, a military veteran who lived in the Bronx. He boarded the subway every weekday morning at 3:30 a.m. in order to make it to midtown Manhattan by 5:30 a.m.

There, clad in sunglasses and a hat, he'd read the paper and drink tea until the "Today" broadcast began at 7 a.m. Though he'd make the trip to Rockefeller Plaza regardless of the weather and could rarely be coaxed to come inside studio 1A, Boyette missed a few weeks due to health concerns.

Over the years, he grew close to the show's on-air talent and was at Vieira's side the day she announced her plans to leave "Today." He also became a fan favorite and something of a celebrity himself.

"We actually get more viewer mail about Linny than any of our on-air team," said news anchor Natalie Morales. "And we understand because we love Linny too and we're certainly going to miss him."


Twitter: @MeredithBlake