CNN anchor Bernard Shaw has died at the age of 82


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Shaw was CNN’s first anchor and was with the network when it launched on June 1, 1980. He retired from CNN on February 28, 2001 after more than 20 years.

Throughout his career, Shaw has covered the biggest stories of the time – including the May 1989 student uprising in Tiananmen Square, the first Gulf War in 1991 live from Baghdad, and the 2000 presidential election.

“Bernard Shaw, CNN’s beloved anchor and colleague, has passed away at the age of 82. Bernie was a CNN original and our Washington anchor when we launched on June 1, 1980,” said CNN Chairman and CEO Chris Licht. Statement Thursday. In the year as the context of recent historical events. CNN’s condolences to his wife Linda and children.

Shaw’s funeral will be closed to family and invited guests only, the family said.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the scholarship fund, according to a statement from former CNN CEO Tom Johnson. “The Shaw family requests complete privacy at this time,” the family added in a statement.

Johnson said in a statement that Shaw “demonstrated excellence in his life” and “will be remembered as a staunch advocate of responsible journalism.”

“As a journalist, he demanded accuracy and fairness in his reporting. He earned the respect of millions of viewers around the world for his honesty and independence. He vigorously opposed any lowering of ethical news standards or any strict coverage agreement. Johnson could be trusted as a reporter and as an anchor.”

“Bernie was my personal friend and colleague for over 55 years. I will miss him dearly,” he added. “My wife, Edwina, and I send our sincere condolences to Bernie’s wife, Linda, and his family.”

First job

CNN founder Ted Turner (center/right) poses with anchors Larry King (L), Judy Woodruff and Bernard Shaw (R) after accepting an award at CNN's 20th Anniversary Gala at Phillips Arena on June 1, 2000 in Atlanta.

Shaw was born on May 22, 1940 in Chicago to Edgar and Camilla Shaw.

He spent four years in the Marine Corps, during which time he was stationed in Hawaii when TV news legend Walter Cronkite sought him out as a journalist.

Shaw began his career as a radio reporter in Chicago, during which he interviewed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who said, “One day you’ll make it, do something good,” Shaw recalled.

His first job in TV was as a political correspondent for CBS, helping to cover the Watergate scandal. Later as ABC’s Latin America correspondent and bureau chief, he and his team took the only aerial photographs of the massacre in Johnstown, Guyana.
He left ABC to take a job at Ted Turner’s Cable News Network, the world’s first 24-hour television news network — a decision many of his former colleagues thought was crazy. “I thought it was the last frontier in network television news,” he said.

Children of Baghdad

Shaw has often helped raise CNN’s international profile and make CNN a news leader. He was also known for being cool under pressure – exemplified by his reporting on the first Gulf War.

He and fellow journalists, John Holliman and Peter Arnett, made TV history by covering the first attack in Baghdad in real time and became known as the “Sons of Baghdad.”

“The sky over Baghdad is lit up. We’re seeing bright flashes all over the sky,” Shaw reported from a Baghdad hotel as bombs rained down.

Arnett recalled the first moments of the bombing: “I run to get the microphone, and there was Bernie — ‘Atlanta, come to Baghdad, come to Baghdad.’

“He had the microphone first, the instinct to broadcast, to be there,” Arnett said. “He didn’t hesitate. He explored the world.”

Shaw in 2010 “One of the things I’ve struggled with is being able to control my emotions when all hell breaks loose,” he told NPR in 2014.

“The more intense the news report, the colder I want to be. The more desensitized I become, even the tone of voice, because people depend on you for accurate, dispassionate descriptions of what’s going on. For news consumers — readers, listeners, or viewers — to feel and be taken in,” he says. He said.

Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Joseph Lieberman (L), Republican Presidential Candidate Richard Cheney (R) on stage with CNN moderator Bernard Shaw during a debate at Center College's Norton Center for the Arts in Danville, Kentucky October 05, 2000.  This is the only vice presidential debate scheduled before the November 07 election.

CNN made its debut with Shaw as Washington anchor at a time when other networks had white men as lead anchors.

Less than a year after going on the air for CNN, Shaw directed the network’s coverage of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. When the other networks reported that White House Press Secretary James Brady had been killed, Shaw ran the report until they got official confirmation — which never came, and the other networks had to go back.

Shaw has a reputation for conducting tough interviews. In the year His sharp questioning was on display when he became the first African-American reporter to emcee a presidential debate in 1988.

In the second race between then-Vice President George HW Bush and Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis, Shaw asked the candidates to talk about the death penalty.

When Dukakis said he opposed the death penalty, Shaw asked: “If Kitty Dukakis (Dukakis’ wife) was raped and killed, would you impose the death penalty on the killer?”

The question was tricked by the candidate’s career killer and some thought, changed the direction of the race.
CNN anchor Bernard Shaw speaks to the audience on set Friday, Nov. 10, 2000, at the network's Atlanta headquarters.  Shaw, a 20-year CNN veteran, said he will leave the network early next year to write.  Books and spend more time with his family.

Shaw signed

Shaw announced in November 2000 that he was returning to CNN to spend time with his family and write a book.

“My best time being here is helping you, our audience, find what you’re interested in, helping them quickly understand your questions with intellectual context and understanding. And to you around the world and to our great nation here in the United States, I value your criticism and comments more than your appreciation. Research can be educational.” He can,” he told the audience.

“It’s harder to get into this business than to leave CNN, especially after 20 years. But you know, some roses smell so good. And as a gardener, I want to grow and smell when I’m not there. Writing.”

Shaw has received numerous awards for his journalism, including the Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting, and was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 1999.

In the year A habit of excellence. You do that every day… you soldier on.

Shaw said he always believed that “the most important chair is not the anchor chair.”

“The most important chair was the chair at the assigned table. The most important chair was the sound man’s chair, the director’s chair, the editor’s chair, the reporter’s chair.”

His advice to employees: “As a CNN employee, when you show up at work, promise to take one step at a time.”

Shaw is survived by his wife Linda and their two children, Amar Edgar and Anil Louise.

This story has been updated.


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