Peter Jennings dies of lung cancer at 67

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Peter Jennings dies of lung cancer at 67

Post by TehBooster »

Longtime ABC News anchor was 67 wrote: NEW YORK (CNN) -- Longtime ABC "World News Tonight" anchor Peter Jennings died Sunday of lung cancer, according to the ABC news network. He was 67.

His death came nearly four months to the day since he announced in a hoarse voice on his evening newscast that he had been diagnosed with the disease.

At a time when all three major broadcast networks saw their evening news anchor spots change hands in less than a year, Jennings' departure was a surprise. Both NBC's Tom Brokaw and CBS' Dan Rather announced their plans well in advance, but Jennings' illness forced a quick decision.

Jennings, a native Canadian who became a U.S. citizen in 2003, said he would continue to host "World News Tonight" when possible. Since the announcement, ABC News' Charles Gibson and Elizabeth Vargas have filled in for him as temporary anchors.

But he said he was determined to fight the disease, citing National Cancer Institute statistics that nearly 10 million Americans are living with cancer. "I have a lot to learn from them, and 'living' is the key word," he said.

Since April 5, when Jennings announced his diagnosis on the news program, he kept his public comments positive. Even during the initial announcement, he said he would be undergoing chemotherapy and joked about losing his hair.

"I wonder if other men and women ask their doctors right away, 'OK, doc, when does the hair go?'" said the immaculately dressed and coifed Jennings.

He acknowledged being a smoker until about 20 years ago, and said he "was weak, and I smoked over 9/11."

In an April 29 letter posted on the ABC News' site, Jennings said he had been "spoiled rotten" by well-wishers and added, "I assume there are a few others out there who, like me, are going with the flow until the day gets better."

Since he began anchoring the program in 1983, Jennings won numerous awards, including a National Headline Award and a George Foster Peabody award. He also won 16 Emmys, according to the ABC News Web site.

Asked how it felt after anchoring ABC's evening news program for 20 years, Jennings told CNN's Larry King on Sept. 8, 2003, "Seems like yesterday; seems like forever -- all at the same time."

"It's sort of, how do you measure it? Do you measure the fact that I'm 20 years older? No. I think I measure it by the events. You know, I came just as the Cold War was coming to an end."

"When you think about the events that we've been through, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to, I guess you'd say, 9/11 being the culmination at the end of that, of that scope, what extraordinary changes there have been."

Jennings was born July 29, 1938 in Toronto with journalism in his blood. His father, Charles, was the first voice of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation when it was established in the mid-1930s. At age 9, Jennings hosted "Peter's People," a short-lived Saturday morning children's show on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

A high school dropout, Jennings worked as a bank teller for several years before moving into radio and then into television in 1961. He was hired by ABC in 1964.

The following year, when he was 26, Jennings was picked to anchor "The ABC Evening News." But two years later, he told his bosses he needed more seasoning and returned to field reporting, CNN Correspondent Jeff Greenfield, a former ABC News employee, has said.

He became a foreign correspondent for the network, covering such stories as the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, when members of the Arab terrorist group Black September seized the Israeli compound and took athletes hostage before eventually killing them.

After he took the anchor chair of World New Tonight, Jennings led ABC's coverage of the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

"On 9/11, those of us who do the jobs that I do, flew without a net for hour and hour and hour after end. And then you hope and pray that you've had the experience to be up to it. Because then you're editor, analyst, reporter, correspondent, ringmaster, the whole thing.

An ABC spokesman said in April that Jennings had been feeling ill for a couple of months and underwent a number of tests before the diagnosis was made. He did not travel to cover the tsunami in South Asia in December 2004 or the death of Pope John Paul II earlier this year.

When the announcement of Jennings' diagnosis was made, ABC did not divulge the stage of his cancer. Cancer stages range from 1 to 4, with 4 being the most advanced.

The network's "World News Tonight" Web site has maintained an online forum where viewers could post expressions of support and good wishes for Jennings. It has also posted statements from Jennings thanking viewers for their support and his thoughts on topics such as the recent terrorist bombings in London.

The last posting came on July 29, Jennings' birthday. "Many thanks to all of you for your birthday wishes," the statement from Jennings said. "Your words -- as always -- are a great source of strength. I am celebrating today with my family -- we are all grateful."

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Post by fumbalah »

I never really was a fan of ABC, as it wasnt what I grew up with, but I did respect Peter Jennings. He was a great journalist, and a good man. He will be missed.
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Post by gmex2006 »

Sure will be missed, I was used to watch his shows. He got that uncommon character and personnality.

Ahh, cancer...
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Post by Viddy O' Car »

He wasn't my first choice in evening news, but certainly was a good guy.

Its interesting to see how the other networks are covering his death. They are fully sympethetic and praising, but they dance around the fact that he was the competition.
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Post by soxie »

It's a shame to see him go. He was one of the few people I enjoyed listening to on television. May he rest in peace.
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Post by MHobbit »

Rest in peace Peter Jennings.
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Post by Riamus »

They were talking about this on the radio this morning with an interview with someone from ABC who interviewed Jennings many years ago. It was interesting hearing how personable he was. He will definitely be missed.
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Post by A_Jelly_Doughnut »

This morning on Good Morning America they showed the World News Tonight set -- empty. That was a poignant moment. For anyone in denial, that should have put the message through.

I do find it ironic that the last thing he ever reported on was himself.
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Post by Kanuck »

Viddy O' Car wrote: Its interesting to see how the other networks are covering his death. They are fully sympethetic and praising, but they dance around the fact that he was the competition.

And that's the way it should be - they may be in fierce competition with each other, but when it's all over, Peter Jennings was a good man. He'll be missed.
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Post by Vanderloogen »

He was a great newsman and a great person.

The world will miss Peter Jennings
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Post by mr_swinson »

That guy, Dan Rather (CBS), and Tom Brokaw (NBC), were the first three evening news anchors I once grew up watching in and out, but again, the world will miss Peter Jennings. BTW, I did manage to catch the last hour of his special biography and tribute.
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Post by Anime Hiro »

omg. I cant beleive it.
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Re: Peter Jennings dies of lung cancer at 67

Post by nuckfan15 »

I personally dont get why deaths like his are so looked upon just because everybody saw him from 5-6 nightly. Big deal, he was a newscaster. If a regular person say like me dies of cancer, is there gonna be some big news story on it.....right, Ill be lucky if I make the obituaries.

Just my 2 cents, he is no more of a better person then you or I. Frankly, I personally see no need to worship him or anybody else for that matter just because there on tv.

But I can still show some respect for the guy. Rest in peace.
Last edited by nuckfan15 on Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:18 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by MHobbit »

"Rest in peace" != "Worshipping"
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Post by xdarkday »

Damn.... RIP
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