Peter Jennings by Kate Darnton
A Reporter's Life

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Peter Jennings was the sole anchor of ABC's World News Tonight from 1983 until his death from cancer in 2005. For many Americans, he was the voice and face that gave shape and meaning to every day's news. But who was Peter Jennings really? In this absorbing biography, readers will get to know Jennings through the memories of his friends, family, competitors, colleagues, and interview subjects. Their stories are full of surprises. Jennings, we learn, was a high school dropout who spent the rest of his life in pursuit of knowledge. He traveled the world in search of stories, a notebook perpetually thrust through his back belt loop. In his front pocket, he carried a miniature copy of the Constitution, a testament to his love for the United States; a Canadian by birth, Jennings acquired American citizenship in 2003.

Peter Jennings was a celebrity, of course—a dashingly handsome and elegant man, famous for his ability to charm women and world leaders alike—but in these pages he is remembered as a loyal friend and a devoted family man, who loved nothing more than to canoe with his kids and listen to jazz with his friends in the Hamptons. Not that he was the relaxing sort. Jennings was a task-master, who ripped other reporters' pieces to shreds, forcing them to rewrite from the ground up. He was a perfectionist, too, who drove his fellow correspondents crazy with his ad-libbed questions on the air. It was all about standards. Throughout his life, Peter Jennings was driven by a passion to seek the truth and convey that truth accurately, simply, cleanly, and elegantly to his American audience. He was our voice.


About Kate Darnton

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Martha Ackmann teaches at Mount Holyoke College, is a frequent columnist, and has written for publications including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times. Ackmann is co-recipient of the Amelia Earhart Research Scholars Grant. She lives in western Massachusetts. Lynn Sherr, correspondent for the ABC News program 20/20, covered NASA and the space program in the 1980s, anchoring and reporting on all the early shuttle missions, through the Challenger explosion and the subsequent Rogers Commission hearings. Sherr was a semifinalist in the (now abandoned) Journalist-in-Space competition. She lives in New York. "From the Hardcover edition.
Published December 10, 2007 by PublicAffairs. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, History. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Darnton (a freelance book editor), Kayce Freed Jennings (a documentary producer and Jennings’s wife at the time of his death) and Sherr (an ABC News correspondent) artfully intersperse the journalist’s own words with those of others, from Lauren Bacall to Rudy Giuliani to Al Sharpton, to create b...

Nov 01 2007 | Read Full Review of Peter Jennings: A Reporter's ...

Publishers Weekly

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The bulk of the interviews in this oral history—co-edited by Sherr, his colleague at ABC News, freelance book editor Darnton, and Jennings's widow—were conducted in the days immediately following the anchorman's death from lung cancer in August 2005.

Sep 10 2007 | Read Full Review of Peter Jennings: A Reporter's ...

Book Reporter

When ABC newsman Peter Jennings died from lung cancer in 2005, he left a void in the industry that has yet to be filled.

Jan 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Peter Jennings: A Reporter's ...

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