Peter Jennings was a celebrity, of coursea dashingly handsome and elegant man, famous for his ability to charm women and world leaders alikebut 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.
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About the Author
Broadcast journalist and writer Lynn Sherr was an award-winning correspondent for more than thirty years at ABC News. She is the author of Tall Blondes: A Book About Giraffes; Outside the Box: A Memoir; America the Beautiful: The Stirring True Story Behind Our Nation’s Favorite Song; and Failure is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Words. She coedited Peter Jennings, A Reporter’s Life. She lives in New York.
Table of Contents
Introduction Lynn Sherr 9
A Canadian Childhood 31
Boy Anchor 55
The Talking Trench Coat 81
Roving Anchor 131
Flying Solo 159
Making the News 195
World News Tonight 255
September 11 367
The Man 389
"I Have Lung Cancer" 469
"Finally, This Evening..." 517
Acknowledgments Kayce Freed Jennings 521
Chronology of Peter Jennings' Life 545
Selected Documentaries and News Specials 549
Photo Credits 555
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I miss Peter Jennings! Even though it has been quite a few years since his passing, each time I turn on the evening news I can't help but thinking, "This would be a lot better if Peter Jennings were covering this story." This book gives an intimate look at the man that so many of us knew only through the TV screen. I love how the book is laid out. All of the information is taken from direct quotes of friends, family, coworkers, and other notables. It is a refreshing bio that gives an overall impression of a person's life compared to some of the bland historical narratives out there.
Amazing! What a beautiful, elegant way to honor and represent an extraordinary man.
Peter Jennings was my favorite news anchor for many years, and this book explains to me why. He was remarkable for the breadth of his knowledge, and his insistence on sharing the complexity of the story with his audience, believing they were capable of understanding and interested in doing so.He was endlessly curious, talking to people of every nation, culture, ethnicity, class, from leaders of many nations to the homeless. He would be standing in line at an airport, for example, and talk to people up and down the line, always interested in their experiences and focusing on the person he was talking to at the time. This struck me particularly because almost as often as people who knew him speak of Peter Janning's curiosity, people who know or have met President George W. Bush speak of his being incurious. Explains to a large extent why I so liked Jennings and so dislike Bush.Jennings was first an anchor at ABC News before he was 30, and before he was a seasoned reporter. When he knew it wasn't working, he said so, and requested to be sent out into the field. He then traveled a lot of the world, worked hard, and grew in his craft. His first major job was reporting on the Middle East He tried to convey the complexity, and was accused of being anti-Zionist, simply for reporting on the Palestinian side of the story as well as the Israeli. Over the years he continued to insist on being fair, and reporting not just both sides of a story, but often the multiplicity of sides. Later he was based in London before being called back to the top anchor post at ABC No matter his position, he insisted on the importance of international news, even when told it wasn't profitable and people weren't interested. He was proved right by 9/11, which he was better positioned to explain than many due to his experience in the Middle East.How much did he cover of stories such as the downside of globalization? I don't know, but I suspect he was more open to it than some. The book claims that he was skeptical of the information coming out of the Bush administration in the run-up to the Iraq war, though I don't think he spoke against it as much as I wish he had.He wasn't a perfect man... duh, he was human. He demanded as much of his colleagues and crew as he did of himself, but if someone told him he was doing something wrong he listenedWithout him, I don't think nearly as many stories are being told, and are not being told nearly as well.
what more can anyone say... he will always be missed. Must be a Peter Jennings devotee for this read.. teared up several times. An anchor in my life and my family, that's for sure.
If you ever watched Peter Jennings on the news, you probably summed him up as a non-emotional, very bright guy who was cooler than that proverbial cucumber. Reading this book makes you realize quickly your judgment was wrong two out of three times. But whose to say a book is right, anyway, especially one featuring the subject¿s family and cohorts? Because I knew Peter pretty well away from the newsroom (we played together and served on a couple of boards together), my judgment could be skewed, too. But I doubt it. Reading this book for me¿and probably for anyone who actually knew Peter¿hurt at times because the stories of Peter¿s irreverence and drop-dead humor ring so true. A Reporters Life is like an excellent sixty-second newscast: all the ephemera are stripped away and the very essence of the story is left. You get that with this book, the essence of Peter. And unless you¿re from another planet, you also get this: a regret that you didn¿t know him better. For those of us who knew Peter pretty well (and there were tens of thousands of those¿Peter would befriend a rock out of his innate kindness and curiosity¿we regret we didn¿t have just one more visit with him. So, that¿s what this book is: a lot of visits with Peter that ring true, and ring most interesting and revealing.
Peter Jennings: A Reporter's Life is for everyone who watched Peter Jennings on the air and wants to know more about him. What was he like to work with? What went on behind the scenes at ABC News? Did he ever let his hair down? Was he difficult to work with? What was he like as a husband and father and friend? What values and principals did he live by and impart to his family, colleagues, protégés? The book manages to weave a narrative from compelling first-person anecdotes that put the reader right into Jennings' incredible life and drive, and tells us that when he was dying he did not feel sorry for himself because he knew he had lived life well. I loved reading the frank accounts from a wide range of people, well-known and not, including excerpts from his children's moving eulogies.
What better way to be remembered than through the words of your friends and collegues! This excellent book tells Mr. Jennings story in a unique way. Best of all, his comments on his own journey are included. For those of us fortunate to have met him, this book will bring a smile and a tear. Wonderful, rare pictures make this book complete. Remembering Mr. Jennings' way of 'telling the story' is quite evident in this book. Easy to read and quite entertaining, this book makes an excellent gift for any Peter Jennings fan. MJS Houston, Tx