Longtime CBS New York chief medical correspondent Dr. Max Gomez — who guided New Yorkers through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic — died Saturday, the station announced in a touching tribute.
He was 72.
Gomez, affectionately known as Dr. Max, died following a long illness, according to CBS 2.
His death was the second time this summer the station has dealt with tragedy after their beloved meteorologist Elise Finch died suddenly in July at the age of 51.
Gomez started as CBS NY’s chief medical correspondent in 2007 after a previous stint with the station from 1994 to 1997 as a medical reporter and health editor.
“Dr. Gomez was deeply loved and respected in our newsroom, by medical professionals he worked with, patients who shared their stories with him and our viewers,” the station wrote in a tribute to the reporter.
“He was our in-house consultant for whatever ailed us, eager to help, genuinely concerned and never thought twice about going the extra mile.”
Gomez won multiple New York Emmys and an Excellence in a Time of Crisis Award from the city’s health department following 9/11, among numerous other accolades.
He also worked for Fox 5 New York and NBC 4 New York during his remarkable career, CBS said.
“He was one of the signature pieces of this place as I like to call him,” anchor Chris Wragge said in a tribute posted by the station. “Certain places have foundational pieces – Dr. Max was just one of those guys that every time you saw him you immediately identified him not only as Dr. Max but CBS 2’s Dr. Max.”
Other colleagues hailed him as a dedicated correspondent who could connect with viewers and genuinely cared about the people he was helping.
Those traits were paramount during the start of COVID-19 when the Big Apple was the first part of the country to be crushed with a high number of cases and deaths.
“He was in tune with the viewer,” anchor Kristine Johnson said in the tribute. “In this business, you have to have a connection. If there’s no connection, then there’s no message. Dr. Max mastered that.”
Other colleagues also paid tribute to Gomez over social media.
“His intelligence, exceeded only by his caring heart,” CBS 2 reporter Tony Aiello tweeted. “A fount of wisdom during the pandemic for the viewers and the CBS2 staff. Always on call to help when our loved ones faced health challenges.”
Gomez, who emigrated with his family from Cuba where he was born, graduated with his Ph.D. from Wake Forest School of Medicine after earning an undergraduate degree at Princeton University.
The co-author of three health and science books met with presidents and popes through various advisory boards he served on, the station said.
He is survived by his children, Max Gomez IV and Katie Gomez.