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Hoda Kotb updates fans with incredibly sad news

The star is mourning a huge loss

Hannah Hargrave

Hoda Kotb sadly had to share some upsetting news with her social media followers on Friday when she announced she was mourning the loss of someone special. 

The Today show host took to Instagram with a photograph and a message which had her fans inundating her with prayers. 

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Hoda revealed her friend and famed New York restauranteur, James 'Jimmy' Neary had passed away at the age of 91. 

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WATCH: Hoda Kotb left shocked on air 

Alongside a photo of him, she wrote: "Jimmy Neary... always smiling. RIP sweet friend. We will miss you," and she ended her message with heart emojis. 

Her fans inundated her with kind words and commented: "So sorry for your loss. Yes ma'am what a smile," and another added: "He knew how to make everyone feel welcome. I lived right around the corner and loved this special place . It won’t be the same without his cheerful greeting."

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Jimmy was famed for running one of the city's most popular watering holes, Neary's, and continued to work right up until he passed away at the age of 91.

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Hoda shared a photo of Jimmy on Instagram 

Tributes poured in for the Irishman who won the hearts of celebrities, politicians and locals for his upbeat personality and for the way he ran his business. 

In an interview in The New York Post in 2013 he said: "It's lovely, this life. Everybody's smiling. They might be a sourpuss when they come in, but they won’t be when we get done talking to them."

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After hearing of Neary’s death, former Congressman Joe Crowley, who was a friend and a frequent visitor to the popular bar, said Jimmy Neary was "an NYC institution. He was the ultimate successful immigrant story, he was a self made man who sat with presidentsc,mayors, bishops congressmen and governors."

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Jimmy appeared on the Today show in 2019

His family posted a note on the door of Neary’s after his death which read: "We want to thank you all for being a part of his life. Dad loved you all and he cherished being with you for the past 55+ years.

"You were all a critical part of his family and enriched his life in countless ways. As he always said ‘I love my life!'"

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