Peter Jennings Diagnosed with Lung
April 5, 2005
Peter Jennings revealed some shocking news Tuesday
morning: heís battling lung cancer. The longtime ABC
news anchor made the stunning announcement through an
Email addressed to his staff.
The Email said in part, "As you all know, this
is a challenge. I begin chemotherapy next week. I will
continue to do the broadcast. There will be good days
and bad, which means that some days I may be cranky
and some days really cranky!"
Speculation about Jennings' health first started swirling
Monday morning when he did not make the trip to Rome
for the pope's funeral. Just hours later, he was diagnosed.
Jennings smoked for years and actually hosted an investigative
special on the tobacco industry last fall.
Just a month ago, he hosted a retirement party for friend
and fellow anchorman Dan Rather, but today, Rather was
unable to put his sorrow into words, saying only that
this was a personal matter.
Jennings was on the air last Friday night and is planning
to continue working during his treatment, but ABC says
it will bring in Charlie Gibson and Elizabeth Vargas
to anchor when Jennings cannot.
Today, "Major Dad" star Gerald McRaney,
who himself underwent surgery for lung cancer,
came to "Extra" with an optimistic message
for Jennings: "This is a beatable problem.
It's not something that has to overwhelm you.
Once you've made up your mind to defeat it, it
can be defeated."
Now, even as Jennings readies for this battle, he's
intent on easing the shock and worry of friends and
loved ones, writing, "Almost 10 million Americans
are living with cancer. I am sure I will learn from
them how to cope with the facts of life that none of