Original CNN anchor Bernard Shaw dead from pneumonia at age 82

In its original heyday, CNN was largely viewed as a generally respectable media organization that delivered the news of the day to the American people in a relatively straightforward manner without the overt partisanship and opinion that has come to characterize the network in the current era.

Now, one of the original CNN anchors who helped shape and bolster that early reputation, Bernard Shaw, has died at the age of 82, the Conservative Brief reported.

According to a statement from his family, Shaw passed away due to pneumonia that was not caused by the COVID-19 virus.

Condolences for the loss of a beloved former anchor

The sad news was first shared by former CNN CEO Tom Johnson, who said the Shaw family had requested “complete privacy” in their time of grief and that they would appreciate donations to a scholarship fund in Shaw’s name instead of flowers. It was also noted that the funeral service would be closed and private but that a public memorial service would be held at a later date.

Shaw “exemplified excellence in his life,” according to Johnson, and will be “remembered as a fierce advocate of responsible journalism.”

“As a journalist, he demanded accuracy and fairness in news coverage. He earned the respect of millions of viewers around the world for his integrity and independence. He resisted forcefully any lowering of ethical news standards or any compromise of solid news coverage. He always could be trusted as a reporter and as an anchor,” the former network CEO said. “Bernie was my personal friend and colleague for more than 55 years. I will miss him enormously. My wife Edwina and I extend our most genuine condolences to Bernie’s wife Linda and to his family.”

The new chairman and CEO of CNN, Chris Licht, said in a statement, “CNN’s beloved anchor and colleague, Bernard Shaw, passed away yesterday at the age of 82. Bernie was a CNN original and was our Washington Anchor when we launched on June 1st, 1980.”

“He was our lead anchor for the next twenty years from anchoring coverage of presidential elections to his iconic coverage of the First Gulf War live from Baghdad in 1991. Even after he left CNN, Bernie remained a close member of our CNN family providing our viewers with context about historic events as recently as last year,” he added. “The condolences of all of us at CNN go out to his wife Linda and his children.”

Chicago-born journalist honored with multiple awards

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Shaw was born in Chicago’s South Side and later attended the University of Illinois at Chicago in the 1960s, where the aforementioned scholarship in his honor was established in 1991.

After a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps, Shaw entered the field of journalism — first as a radio reporter in Chicago, per CNN — and got his first gig on TV as a reporter for CBS News and then ABC News in the 1970s before joining the first-of-its-kind 24/7 cable news network in 1980.

CBS News reported that Shaw had an award-winning career during his tenure at CNN, including “lifetime achievement awards from the Edward R. Murrow Awards and National Association of Black Journalists,” as well as being inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable News Hall of Fame in 1999.

CNN noted that Shaw entered semi-retirement in late 2000 in order to spend more time with his family and focus on writing books, but as was mentioned by Licht, he still occasionally appeared on the network from time to time to provide his respected take on whatever significant events were happening at the time.

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