Tom Brokaw's Post-9/11 Experience: How He Coped (VIDEO)

03/16/2013 12:13 pm ET | Updated Mar 18, 2013

The OWN series "Oprah's Master Class" features intimate first-person stories told by newsmakers who have impacted the world. In the March 17 episode, legendary journalist Tom Brokaw recalled some of the highlights -- and low points -- of his TV news career, reminiscing about his early days in the industry, the impact of satellite TV on journalism, his connection to Dan Rather and Peter Jennings, and more. In this clip from the episode, he opens up about what it was like to cover the September 11 terrorist attacks -- and how the events of that day affected him personally.

After covering the devastating events of 9/11, says Brokaw, he finally returned to his New York apartment at around 1 a.m. on September 12. He says that even though it was the wee hours of the morning, the first thing he did was make himself a drink. "I poured a very large whiskey and water," he recalls in the clip. "It didn't even touch my nerve endings -- it went right down. I was ready to have another one, [but thought] If I do this, I'll do this all night long."

Brokaw says he went to sleep at 6 a.m., only to be awakened by a telephone call bringing more devastating news: A dear friend of his who had been awaiting a heart transplant had passed away.

"I wept for 35 minutes," says Brokaw. "It was just an emotional release for me."

He remembers feeling relieved to have his solitude. "I was home alone [and] I was glad I was," he says. "I was just able to deal with my own grief."

Then it was back to work. "I got dressed, went back in and then it was [time to] march through the next several days of what we were going through and what was going to happen next," he says.

"Oprah’s Master Class" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.

Click through the slideshows below to see how other celebrities and politicians have remembered 9/11:

9/11 Statements From Politicians
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