July 29, 1938 — August 07, 2005
A high school dropout who made good, he was best known as anchorman for ABC's award-winning news program World News Tonight.
Born in Toronto in 1938, he started with the CBC. Sent by the CBC to cover the 1964 Democratic National Convention, he was recruited by ABC and moved to a lucrative job with the US network in 1964. He became news anchor in 1965 in an attempt by ABC to make its broadcast young and hip. Against the likes of Walter Cronkite the attempt ultimately failed, and after 3 years Jennings moved on to become a foreign correspondent for ABC.
Jennings assumed the sole helm of World News Tonight as anchor and senior editor on Sept. 5, 1983. He had hosted a part of the show since 1978 as chief foreign correspondent. Along with rivals Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw, Jennings gave the network news a consistent face and gravitas throughout the 80s and 90s, and into the 21st century.
Winner of numerous journalism awards over his career, Jennings became an American citizen in 2003, a move he felt compelled to make in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Jennings stepped down from the anchor chair of World News Tonight in April 2005 to undergo chemotherapy for lung cancer. He intended to return to the broadcast chair, but never did. Peter Jennings died in August 2005 at age 67.