(CMR) Former CNN news anchor Bernard Shaw (82) died Wednesday of pneumonia unrelated to COVID-19, his family announced.
Shaw was CNN's first chief anchor and was with the network when it launched on June 1, 1980. He became a household name with groundbreaking coverage of the First Gulf war live from Baghdad, Iraq, in 1991. He reported from a Baghdad hotel room as bombs exploded outside his window.
He also reported on big stories like the student revolt in Tiananmen Square in May 1989 and the 2000 presidential election. He retired from CNN after more than 20 years on February 28, 2001.
“CNN's beloved anchor and colleague, Bernard Shaw, passed away yesterday at the age of 82. Bernie was a CNN original and was our Washington Anchor when we launched on June 1st, 1980,” Chris Licht, CNN Chairman, and CEO, said in a statement Thursday.
“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. The condolences of all of us at CNN go out to his wife Linda and his children,” Licht added.
Funeral services for Shaw will be closed to family and guests only, with a public memorial service planned at a later time, his family said.
“In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Bernard Shaw Scholarship Fund at the University of Chicago. The Shaw family requests complete privacy at this time,” the family said in their statement, according to CNN.
“As a journalist, he demanded accuracy and fairness in news coverage. He earned the respect of millions of viewers around the world for his integrity and independence. He resisted forcefully any lowering of ethical news standards or any compromise of solid news coverage. He always could be trusted as a reporter and as an anchor,” CNN's Tom Johnson said.
“Bernie was my personal friend and colleague for more than 55 years. I will miss him enormously. My wife Edwina and I extend our most genuine condolences to Bernie's wife Linda and to his family,” he added.