Peter Jennings was born on July 29, 1938. He dropped out of high school and finally worked in radio and television news. Then he served as a foreign correspondent until joining World News Tonight in 1978. From 1983 until his passing in 2005, Jennings served as the show’s only news anchor. Peter, following in his dad’s footsteps, made his program debut in the age of 9, hosting his own show, Peter’s Folks (also called Peter’s Program) on Canadian radio.
In 1962, when he was only 24, Jennings was named a co-anchor of the national news program on CTV, putting him in direct opposition together with his dad’s network. He held the job for a couple of years before moving to America and joining ABC News in 1964. Jennings’ timeless good looks and encouraging presence made him a natural pick for the anchor’s seat, even though he favored coverage in the area. Jennings continued for a couple of years in the job before leaving to be a foreign correspondent for the network. In 1968, he set up the network’s bureau in Beirut, the initial American television news bureau in the Arab world. But the charisma of reporting from your field shortly demonstrated, yet again, too much for Jennings to stick in his studio hosting job. When his co-anchorman Frank Reynolds died in 1983, Jennings was named the one anchor and senior editor of World News Tonight. He held that position for the next 22 years, becoming among the very recognizable and trustworthy faces on American television.
Looking back on his career, this indicates that there were few historic events in the latter half of the 20th century for which Jennings had not been present. He was in Berlin for the construction of the Berlin Wall in the 1960s and its fall in 1989. He spent 25 successive hours live on the atmosphere for ABC’s coverage of the millennium, and anchored more than 60 hours in the week after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In the pinnacle of his popularity in the early 1990s, almost 14 million people saw Jennings every night. Reporting from London, Jennings became among the three anchors of ABC’s World News Tonight in 1978. He shared his responsibilities with Frank Reynolds and Max Robinson. He became the transmission’s only anchorman in 1983 after Reynolds’s departure.
During his tenure with World News Tonight, Jennings managed many crucial news events, such as the 1991 Gulf War as well as the War in Iraq in 2003. He even spent hours on the air telling the country about 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger as well as the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. For a lot of, Jennings proved to be a calming effect during such difficult times. It had been his professional manner and worldly existence that helped him occasionally beat out his opponents, including Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw, in the news ratings race.
Outside of his nightly news duties, Jennings also created several award winning news specials. He handled such significant problems as gun violence and AIDS. He also reexamined such well-known historical events as the bombing of Hiroshima as well as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Jennings’ passing marked the conclusion of an age in broadcast news. The other members of the longtime “Big Three” threesome of network anchors, NBC’s Tom Brokaw and CBS’s Dan Rather, had retired before the same year. Network news audiences had dropped steadily over time, and no later anchorman loved the type of crowds that Jennings once ordered. “He covered many important events, events that helped define the planet as we all know it today. Lots of Americans relied upon Peter Jennings for their news. He became part of the lives of lots of our fellow citizens, and he’ll be missed.” Wed four times during his life, Jennings was wed to Kayce Freed during the time of his passing. He’d two children, Elizabeth and Christopher, with his third wife, journalist Kati Marton.