Anchors are some of the most-trusted presences on the small screen, the faces we look to in times of national crisis to bring us the news … along with a bit of reassurance. From Gwen Ifill and Marlene Sanders, to Walter Cronkite and Ed Bradley, these are the great television news anchors of decades past, memorable for their voices, faces and unique styles of sharing the news of the day with us. We pay tribute to TV broadcasters with this photo tribute to those we’ve lost.
Jim Lehrer (1934–2020)
Lehrer was the lauded news anchor for the “PBS NewsHour” on PBS for 36 years.
Cokie Roberts (1943–2019)
Roberts was a pioneering political correspondent on the radio and television. She is considered one of the “Founding Mothers” of NPR.
Steve Dunleavy (1938–2019)
The Australian-born tabloid journalist was a lead reporter on the television show “A Current Affair” as well as a columnist for the New York Post.
Charles Krauthammer (1950–2018)
Krauthammer was a prominent conservative voice on Fox News and as a columnist for The Washington Post.
Brenda Buttner (1961–2017)
Buttner won a Cable Ace Award in 1996 as the host of “The Money Club” on CNBC. More recently she hosted “Bulls & Bears” on Fox News.
Gwen Ifill (1955–2016)
The veteran journalist co-anchored “PBS NewsHour” and served as moderator and managing editor of PBS talk show “Washington Week.”
John Saunders (1955–2016)
The Canadian-born sports journalist worked for ESPN and ABC. ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement after his death, “John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades. His wide range of accomplishments across numerous sports and championship events is among the most impressive this industry has ever seen.”
Jeanne Parr (1924–2016)
The pioneering journalist was one of the first female correspondents hired by CBS and later hosted her own talk show. She is also the mother of actor Chris Noth.
Morley Safer (1931–2016)
The longtime CBS reporter worked on “60 Minutes” for 46 years and also covered the Vietnam War.
Stuart Scott (1965–2015)
The ESPN sportscaster and anchor was known for his colorful catch phrases such as “Boo-Yah!” and inspired fans with his fight against cancer.
Marlene Sanders (1931–2015)
In 1964, Sanders (pictured with Peter Jennings) became the first woman to anchor the prime-time network news when she filled in for ABC’s Ron Cochran. She was a prolific, Emmy-winning documentarian for ABC and CBS until her retirement in 1987.
Bob Simon (1941–2015)
During his five-decade career in journalism, the longtime “60 Minutes” correspondent covered most major overseas conflicts and news stories from the late 1960s on.
Tim Russert (1950–2008)
The “Meet the Press” anchor “pointedly but politely questioned hundreds of the powerful and influential as one of America’s most prominent U.S television journalists.”
Garrick Utley (1939–2014)
Utley was a veteran TV journalist whose far-ranging career included anchoring duties as well as reporting from more than 70 countries.
John Palmer (1935–2013)
In nearly four decades with NBC, Palmer served as Washington correspondent and “Today” show news anchor. The team of Palmer, Bryant Gumbel, Jane Pauley, Willard Scott, and Gene Shalit helped vault “Today” to the top of the ratings in the 1980s.
Peter Jennings (1938–2005)
As the anchor of ABC’s “World News Tonight” from 1983 until his death in 2005, Jennings was there for millennial America’s biggest stories. His reassuring presence carried us through times of tragedy as he presented marathon news broadcasts, testing his own endurance in order to keep the public informed.
Mike Wallace (1918–2012)
The CBS newsman was known as a dogged, merciless reporter and interviewer who took on politicians, celebrities, imams and other public figures in a 60-year career highlighted by on-air confrontations that helped make “60 Minutes” the most successful prime-time TV news program ever.
Andy Rooney (1919–2011)
For more than 40 years, Rooney spared few punches as he skewered pretty much anything that had ever annoyed him on the “60 Minutes” segment “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney.”
Harold Dow (1947–2010)
The Emmy-winning CBS News correspondent helped shape the documentary program “48 Hours” and covered events such as the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He died at 62 as a result of asthma.
Walter Cronkite (1916–2009)
“The world’s most trusted anchorman” was an authoritative, mustachioed presence who managed to soothe CBS viewers for almost two decades, no matter how horrible or terrifying the nightly news.
Ed Bradley (1941–2006)
Bradley broke racial barriers at CBS News, covering everything from the fall of Saigon and the rise of AIDS to the music of Ray Charles and the career of Sir Laurence Olivier. His dedication won him 19 Emmys as well as a shrapnel wound, received while covering the war in Cambodia in the 1970s.
David Bloom (1963–2003)
The NBC News correspondent had been reporting on the war from the Iraqi desert when he died of a pulmonary embolism at 39. Bloom was the anchor of the weekend “Today” show and had been traveling with U.S. troops for several weeks in Iraq.
David Brinkley (1920–2003)
The journalist first gained fame as one-half of NBC’s Huntley-Brinkley anchor team and for more than a half-century loomed large in the newscasting world he helped chart.
Charles Kuralt (1934–1997)
Kuralt was known best for his long career with CBS, first for his “On the Road” segments on the “CBS Evening News” with Walter Cronkite, and later as the first anchor of “CBS Sunday Morning,” a position he held for 15 years.
John Chancellor (1927–1996)
Chancellor spent most of his career with NBC News, serving as anchor of “NBC Nightly News” from 1970 to 1982.
Harry Reasoner (1923–1991)
Reasoner was a journalist for ABC and CBS News, known for his inventive use of language as a television commentator and as a founder of the “60 Minutes” program.
John Charles Daly (1914–1991)
Daly is remembered best as the warm, charming friend Americans welcomed into their homes every Sunday from 1950 to 1967 as host of television game show “What’s My Line?” But Daly (pictured right with Quincy Howe while covering the 1956 presidential campaign) was also a seasoned journalist who served as a reporter during World War II and later as vice president of news at ABC. Daly anchored ABC’s news broadcasts for several years, even while hosting “What’s My Line?,” and won an Emmy and three Peabody Awards for his television journalism.
Max Robinson (1939–1988)
The “ABC World News Tonight” co-anchor was the first African-American network news anchor in the U.S. A founder of the National Association of Black Journalists, Robinson died of AIDS at the age of 49.
Jessica Savitch (1947–1983)
As the New York weekend anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” Savitch was the first woman to hold that position. The first woman to fill in on the weekday “NBC Nightly News” broadcast, Savitch became the host of “Frontline” on PBS shortly before her death at 36 in an automobile accident.
Frank Reynolds (1923–1983)
Reynolds was the New York anchor of the “ABC Evening News” from 1968 to 1970 and later the Washington D.C. co-anchor of “World News Tonight” from 1978 until his death in 1983. During the Iran hostage crisis, he began the 30-minute late-night program “America Held Hostage” that later became “Nightline.”
Dave Garroway (1913–1982)
Morning television was a different ball game when Garroway became the original “Today” show host in 1952. Here’s how a New York Times critic described him: “He does not crash into the home with the false jollity and thunderous witticisms of a backslapper. He is pleasant, serious, scholarly looking and not obtrusively convivial.”
Frank McGee (1921–1974)
McGee was an anchor on “NBC Nightly News” before moving to the “Today” show on NBC. He is pictured here at the 1972 Democratic National Convention with Barbara Walters.
Chet Huntley (1911–1974)
The television newscaster was known best as the co-anchor of “The Huntley-Brinkley Report,” NBC’s evening news program.
Edward R. Murrow (1908–1965)
Murrow first came to prominence with a series of radio news broadcasts during World War II that millions of U.S. listeners followed. A pioneer of television news broadcasting, Murrow produced a series of TV news reports that helped lead to the censure of U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Here he lights a cigarette for Marilyn Monroe during an interview on his television show “Person to Person.”