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Peter Jennings

Peter Jennings in 2002
Jennings in 2002
Peter Charles Archibald Ewart Jennings

(1938-07-29)July 29, 1938
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died August 7, 2005(2005-08-07) (aged 67)
Cause of death Lung cancer
  • Canadian
  • American
Occupation Television journalist
Years active 1947–2005
Notable credit(s)
  • ABC Evening Report/Peter Jennings with the News (1965–1967)
  • ABC World News Tonight Foreign Desk Anchor (1978–1983)
  • Anchor (1983–2005)
  • ABC News reporter (1964–2005)
  • Valerie Godsoe (div.)
  • Anoushka Malauf (div.)
  • Kati Marton
    (m. 1979; div. 1993)
  • Kayce Freed (m. 1997)
  • Elizabeth Jennings
  • Christopher Jennings
  • Charles Jennings
  • Elizabeth Jennings

Peter Charles Archibald Ewart Jennings CM (July 29, 1938 – August 7, 2005) was a Canadian-American journalist who served as the sole anchor of ABC World News Tonight from 1983 until his death from lung cancer in 2005. Despite dropping out of high school, he transformed himself into one of American television's most prominent journalists.

Jennings started his career early, hosting a Canadian radio show at the age of nine. He began his professional career with CJOH-TV in Ottawa during its early years, anchoring the local newscasts and hosting a teen dance show, Saturday Date, on Saturdays. In 1965, ABC News tapped him to anchor its flagship evening news program. His inexperience was attacked by critics and others in television news, making for a difficult first stint in the anchor chair. Jennings became a foreign correspondent in 1968, reporting from the Middle East.

He returned as one of World News Tonight's three anchors in 1978, and was promoted to sole anchor in 1983. Jennings was also known for his marathon coverage of breaking news stories, staying on the air for 15 or more hours straight to anchor the live broadcast of events such as the Gulf War in 1991, the O.J. Simpson phony phone call and subsequent trial in 1994, the Millennium celebrations in 2000, and the September 11 attacks in 2001. In addition to anchoring, he was the host of many ABC News special reports and moderated several American presidential debates. Jennings was always fascinated with the United States and became a naturalized United States citizen in 2003.

Along with Tom Brokaw of NBC and Dan Rather of CBS, Jennings formed part of the "Big Three" news anchors who dominated American evening network news from the early 1980s until his death in 2005, which closely followed the retirements of Brokaw in 2004 and Rather in 2005.

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