MSNBC legal analyst Jay Monahan, husband of Today show anchor Katie Couric, lost a six-month battle to cancer Saturday. He was 42.

"We are deeply saddened by his death," NBC said in a statement released to Associated Press. "He was a valued member of the NBC News family and will be missed."

Couric was scheduled to conduct a high-profile interview with first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday--Mrs. Clinton's first at-length interview since President Clinton became embroiled in the White House intern sex scandal. In the wake of her husband's death, an NBC News staffer said Saturday night it wasn't known what Couric's status for that interview was. The spokeswoman for the Today show could not be reached for comment.

Couric and Monahan married in 1989--the same year Couric joined NBC as Pentagon correspondent, and approximately a year after the burgeoning TV personality met respected attorney Monahan in Washington, D.C. The couple had two children: Elinor, 6, and Caroline, 2.

Monahan was diagnosed with colon cancer last summer. He underwent surgery June 6. Doctors at the time declared his prognosis good and said they expected he would be able to return to work--which he did. Monahan could be heard on-air on MSNBC as recently as this month. He worked for the upstart NBC all-news cable channel for two years, offering legal-eagle analysis for the O.J. Simpson and Oklahoma City bombing trials, among others.

Monahan also worked for the New York law firm of Hunton and Williams.

Funeral plans were said to be incomplete.

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