ABC News anchor Peter Jennings dies at 67

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Monday, August 8, 2005

Jennings conducting an interview.
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Peter Jennings, longtime anchor of ABC's World News Tonight died Sunday in Manhattan after a four month fight with lung cancer. From the anchor desk or from the field, Jennings covered more than 40 years of national and international news including the erection and destruction of the Berlin Wall, the fall of apartheid, the demise of communism in Europe, the millennium, and the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Jennings was honored with numerous awards for journalism, including 16 Emmys, two George Foster Peabody Awards, several Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards and several Overseas Press Club Awards.

Jennings told viewers back in April in a taped message that he had lung cancer and was going to start chemotherapy treatment for it. He stated he would continue to host World News Tonight when it was possible, although he never again appeared on the broadcast. During his absence, Charles Gibson and Elizabeth Vargas filled in for Jennings. It is unknown who will replace Jennings at this time.

Jennings first broadcast experience came at age nine, when he hosted his own radio show for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Following many years of reporting from the Middle East, Jennings began appearing on World News Tonight in 1978, and became its sole anchor in 1983. During the 1980s and early 1990s, the broadcast became the most popular network news program in the US, surpassing the CBS Evening News in 1986. Jennings followed in his father's footsteps: Charles Jennings served as Canada's first network news anchorman on the CBC.

A native of Canada, Jennings became a U.S. citizen in 2003. He is survived by his wife, Kayce, his daughter, Elizabeth (25), his son, Christopher (23), and his sister, Sarah.

Soon after he died his wife, Kayce Freed, issued this statement: "Peter died with his family around him, without pain and in peace. He knew he'd lived a good life."

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