George McLean, a longtime CBC News journalist and host of The National, has died in Toronto.

McLean was born in Brandon, Man., and served with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War before entering journalism.

He first worked at a small radio station in Kenora, Ont., before joining CBC in the 1950s. He would go on to host The National for nearly three decades.

McLean, known for his reliability and ability to stay calm in high-stress situations, would become one of the most recognizable faces, and voices, at CBC News. Before he retired, McLean marvelled at how audiences had begun treating him like a friend or family member.

In return, McLean said "treating the viewer with respect" was always his goal.

News, he said, should be presented "in as straightforward a manner as possible."

Knowlton Nash, another great CBC News host, said McLean gave audiences a feeling of comfort and calm. And most importantly: "The audience believes him."

McLean, who was 92, died last week in hospital in Toronto.