NYC street to be renamed in Peter Jennings' honor
(2/21/06 - NEW YORK) -- The City of New York will pay tribute to Peter Jennings today when the street where ABC News headquarters is located is renamed in his honor.
It is a permanent geographical memorial to the man who left such an indelible mark on the landscape of American journalism.
West 66th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue in New York City's Upper West Side will be dubbed "Peter Jennings Way." The Jennings family, ABC News President David Westin, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and many of Jennings' former colleagues will attend the naming ceremony.
Jennings lived close to his office and he loved his neighborhood. He died last August at age 67 from lung cancer, four months after publicly disclosing his illness.
Jennings first joined ABC News in 1964, anchoring "Peter Jennings with the News" from 1965 to 1967. He was named anchor and senior editor of "World News Tonight" in 1983 and was honored with almost every major award given to television journalists in his 22 years in the anchor chair. Jennings won 16 Emmys, two George Foster Peabody Awards, several Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, several Overseas Press Club Awards and two consecutive Edward R. Murrow Awards.
A Distinguished Career and Legacy
As one of America's most distinguished journalists, Jennings reported many pivotal, world-shaping events. He was also an author, writing "The Century" with Todd Brewster. The book, which was on The New York Times' best-seller list, is structured as an epic tale about "ourselves," featuring astonishing first-person accounts of the great events of the century.
He also established the first American television news bureau in the Arab world in 1968 when he served as ABC News' bureau chief in Beirut, Lebanon, a position he held for seven years.
Jennings helped put ABC News on the map in 1972 with his coverage of the Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, when Arab terrorists took Israeli athletes hostage.
His extensive domestic and overseas reporting experience was evident in "World News Tonight's" coverage of major crises. He reported from all 50 states and locations around the globe. During the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 War in Iraq, his knowledge of Middle Eastern affairs brought invaluable perspective to ABC News' coverage of the war in Iraq and the drug trade in Central and South America.
The series also tackled important domestic issues such as gun control policy, the politics of abortion, the crisis in funding for the arts and a highly praised chronicle of the accused bombers of Oklahoma City. "Peter Jennings Reporting" earned numerous awards, including the 2004 Edward R. Murrow Award for best documentary for "The Kennedy Assassination -- Beyond Conspiracy."
Jennings' last documentary "Peter Jennings Reporting: Breakdown -- America's Health Insurance Crisis," aired on ABC in December. Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff succeeded him as co-anchors of "World News Tonight" in January. Woodruff is recuperating from injuries he suffered from a bomb attack while reporting from Iraq last month.
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