Former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw died from pneumonia unrelated to COVID-19 on Wednesday, his family said in a statement to the network.
Shaw was the first anchor on CNN when the network launched in 1980, and stayed with the network for more than 20 years, CNN said.
In a statement shared on Twitter, CNN chief executive Chris Light remembered Shaw for his contributions to the network: “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.”
A planned funeral service for Shaw will be private and limited to family and invited guests, with a public memorial to be planned at a later time, CNN reported.
Shaw began his career in Chicago, and worked for both CBS News and ABC News before joining CNN as the principal anchor from Washington D.C. when the network launched. Shaw retired from CNN in March 2001.
In a 2014 interview with NPR, Shaw said that he decided to retire to spend more time with his family. He said, “Gnawing at me for years were the untold sacrifices that my wife, Linda — we’ve been married 40 years — and my daughter Anil and my son Amar made. I will never know the sacrifices they made so that I could do what I did. The countless weeks away from them, the missing of so many precious moments in a child’s and a wife’s lifetime, experiences. And it began to gnaw at us more, more, more. And I decided it was time to walk off the field when I was approaching my 61st birthday.”
In a statement to CNN, Shaw’s family requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Bernard Shaw Scholarship Fund at the University of Chicago.”
Shaw is survived by his wife, Linda, and children, Anil and Amar.
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