Goodman died in Juno Beach, Fla., where he lived after retiring as chairman of NBC's board in 1979, according to NBC.
Goodman, a native of Glasgow, Ky., joined the network at the night news desk in Washington in 1945. He rose through the ranks to become executive vice president of NBC News at the time Huntley and Brinkley were competitors to Walter Cronkite on CBS.
As network president, he later gave Johnny Carson a long-term contract to stay on the "Tonight" show and helped make the American Football League a force by broadcasting the upstart league. NBC televised the 1969 Super Bowl, in which the New York Jets beat the highly favored Baltimore Colts. Goodman was also at the helm during an infamous football incident: when NBC switched to the movie "Heidi" in 1968 and missed as exciting finish to a Jets-Raiders game.
Goodman later expressed pride at being included on former President Richard Nixon's "enemies list."
"Julian was one of the great statesmen of network television, a journalist who rose through the ranks to the highest levels of NBC—and always stayed true to the place of public service as an obligation of what we do," former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw said.
He is survived by his wife and four children.