Pop Minute

Home    Photos    Videos    What's on TV Tonight

ABC News Anchor Peter Jennings Dies at 67

Peter Jennings, the suave, Canadian-born broadcaster who delivered the news to Americans each night in five separate decades, died Sunday. He was 67. Jennings, who announced in April that he had lung cancer, died at his New York home, ABC News President David Westin said late Sunday.

"Peter has been our colleague, our friend, and our leader in so many ways. None of us will be the same without him," Westin said.

With Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather, Jennings was part of a triumvirate that dominated network news for more than two decades, through the birth of cable news and the Internet. His smooth delivery and years of international reporting experience made Jennings particularly popular among urban dwellers.

Jennings was the face of ABC News whenever a big story broke. He logged more than 60 hours on the air during the week of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, offering a soothing sense of continuity during a troubled time.

"There are a lot of people who think our job is to reassure the public every night that their home, their community and their nation is safe," he told author Jeff Alan. "I don't subscribe to that at all. I subscribe to leaving people with essentially sorry it's a cliche a rough draft of history. Some days it's reassuring, some days it's absolutely destructive."

Jennings' announcement four months ago that the longtime would begin treatment for lung cancer came as a shock.

"I will continue to do the broadcast," he said, his voice husky, in a taped message that night. "On good days, my voice will not always be like this."

But although Jennings occasionally came to the office between chemotherapy treatments, he never again appeared on the air.

"He knew that it was an uphill struggle. But he faced it with realism, courage, and a firm hope that he would be one of the fortunate ones," Westin said. "In the end, he was not."

Starting in 1986, Jennings began a decade on top of the ratings. His international experience served him well explaining stories like the collapse of European communism, the first Gulf War and the terrorist bombing of an airplane over Lockerbie, Scotland. He took pride that "World News Tonight," as its name suggested, took a more worldly view than its rivals.

Two-thirds of local broadcasters responding to a 1993 survey by Broadcasting & Cable magazine said Jennings was the best network news anchor. Washington Journalism Review named him anchor of the year three straight years.

August 07, 2005 |




© Copyright & Privacy Policy Pop Minute. All rights reserved. | Feedback