The Amsterdam, N.Y., native began his television career in Washington and Manhattan, according to the WCVB website. Curtis was with WCVB-TV when it launched in 1972.
He was honored in 2012 by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with his induction into the rare and prestigious Gold Circle, honoring 50 years of broadcasting. He was inducted last year into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Jim Coppersmith, former WCVB president and general manager, said on the WCVB website, "You really can't lie to a camera and the camera just loved Chet. He was honest, he was real and he was human."
For many years, Curtis anchored the Channel 5 newscast with his then-wife, Natalie Jacobson.
Their daughter, Lindsay, was born in 1981, and the couple received about 5,000 cards from viewers, and the birth was the lead story on the 6 p.m. news, according to the WCVB website.
The couple divorced in 1999 after nearly 25 years of marriage, and Curtis moved to New England Cable News to anchor its nightly news interview program.
He leaves daughters Dana and Dawn from his first marriage, and Lindsay. He is also survived by his companion Kerry Kristine.
Chet Curtis, who was a news anchor in Boston for several decades, has died at age 74 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.