Peter Jennings

News Anchor
Born Jul 29, 1938

Peter Charles Archibald Ewart Jennings, CM was a Canadian American journalist and news anchor. He was the sole anchor of ABC's World News Tonight from 1983 until his death in 2005 of complications from lung cancer. A high-school dropout, 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.… Read More

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1938 Birth Jennings was born on July 29, 1938, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; he and his younger sister Sarah were children of Elizabeth (Osborne) and Charles Jennings, a prominent radio broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). … Read More


1959 20 Years Old …  In 1959, CFJR, a local radio station, hired him as a member of its news department; many of his stories, including his coverage of a local train wreck, were picked up by the CBC.
1961 22 Years Old 1 More Event
By 1961, Jennings had joined the staff of CJOH-TV, then a new television station in Ottawa.
1964 25 Years Old In 1964, CTV sent Jennings to cover the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. … Read More
1965 26 Years Old On February 1, 1965, ABC plucked the fresh-faced Canadian from the field and placed him at the anchor desk of Peter Jennings With the News, then a 15-minute nightly newscast. … Read More
1968 29 Years Old Jennings was determined to build his journalism credentials abroad. In 1968, he established ABC's Middle East bureau in Beirut, Lebanon, the first American television news bureau in the Arab world. … Read More


1972 - 1973 2 More Events
1974 35 Years Old Jennings returned to the U.S. at the end of 1974 to become Washington correspondent and news anchor for ABC's new morning program AM America, a predecessor to Good Morning America. … Read More
1975 36 Years Old 1 More Event
AM America debuted on January 6, 1975, with Jennings delivering regular newscasts from Washington. … Read More
1978 39 Years Old 1 More Event
He continued to cover the Middle East, and in 1978 he was the first American reporter to interview the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, then in exile in Paris. … Read More


1979 40 Years Old Jennings also found renewed success in his personal life. In 1979, he married for the third time to fellow ABC correspondent Kati Marton. … Read More
1982 43 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1982, Jennings' and Marton's second child, Christopher, was born. … Read More
In 1983, Reynolds fell ill with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that often attacks the bones, and was forced to stop anchoring in April. … Read More
He spent his first year at the anchor desk educating himself on American domestic affairs in preparation for the 1984 presidential campaign season.


1990 - 1991 2 More Events
1992 53 Years Old 1 More Event
Jennings continued to produce special programs aimed at young viewers, anchoring Growing Up in the Age of AIDS, a frank, 90-minute-long discussion on AIDS in February 1992; and Prejudice: Answering Children's Questions, a forum on racism in April 1992. … Read More
1993 54 Years Old On August 13, 1993, Jennings and Kati Marton publicly announced their separation in Newsday.
In January 1994, he locked horns with his executive producer on World News Tonight, Emily Rooney. … Read More
ABC increased its coverage of religious topics, and in March 1995, Jennings anchored Peter Jennings Reporting: In the Name of God, a well-received documentary on the changing nature of American churches.


On March 29, 1999, Jennings anchored the first installment of ABC's 12-hour miniseries, The Century; production on the monumental project started in 1990, and by the time it aired, it had cost the network $25 million.
2000 61 Years Old 1 More Event
With another presidential election taking place in 2000, Jennings had some more political reporting duties that year. … Read More
2002 63 Years Old 1 More Event
…  In the summer of 2002, Jennings and ABC refused to allow Toby Keith to open their coverage of July 4 celebrations with "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue", prompting criticism from Keith and country music fans, who highlighted the anchor's Canadian citizenship. The events of September 11 added new meaning to In Search of America, the project Jennings and Brewster started after the success of their previous collaboration. The two began writing the book in early 2001; after the terrorist attacks, they revisited many of the people they had interviewed to see how the events had affected them. … Read More
2003 64 Years Old Jennings' work on In Search of America and the September 11 attacks contributed to his decision in 2003 to become a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. "I think that 9/11 and the subsequent travel I did in the country afterwards made me feel connected in new ways," he said. "And when we were working on the America project I spent a lot of time on the road, which meant away from my editor's desk, and I just got much more connected to the Founding Fathers' dreams and ideas for the future." … Read More
2004 65 Years Old 1 More Event
By late 2004, Brokaw had retired from his anchoring duties at NBC, ceding the reins to Brian Williams; Rather planned to step down in March 2005. … Read More
On April 1, 2005, he anchored World News Tonight for the last time; his poor health also prevented him from covering the death and funeral of Pope John Paul II.
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