Happy Trails, Pat: NBC4 legend is hanging up his hat

NBC Washington’s Pat Collins, shown here covering the Nats’ 2019 World Series run in Houston, will retire at the end of the year.

Pat Collins, one of NBC Washington’s most recognized and beloved personalities, has announced he will retire at the end of the year.

Collins, a D.C. native, started out in the newspaper business, working for both the Washington Daily News and the Washington Star. His talent was apparent before he even graduated from high school: At 17, he was a columnist for the Daily News.

He moved on to Notre Dame, graduating in 1968, and then spent a year as an Army medic in Vietnam. Eventually he began working in television, and after some time in Chicago, he returned to his hometown, working at channels 7 and 9 before joining NBC Washington in 1986.

And for over 35 years at WRC, he’s covered it all — stories ranging from the tragic to the hilariously absurd. He dressed as a grape bunch to interview a student who was disciplined for running onto a football field in a banana costume, and his philosophical musings after a vandal attacked the wrong car went viral and were even remixed into a power ballad.

In fact, Collins has frequently drawn viral attention, as evidenced by this clip from HBO’s “Last Week Tonight.”

Collins has also won accolades from his colleagues, earning 10 Emmys as well as a Chesapeake Associated Press Award for “Best Feature Reporter.”

Channel 4 promises to celebrate Collins more “in the coming days.”

WTOP has reached out to Collins on the question of who inherits The Snow Stick.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to WTOP.com when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer.

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