Friends, Colleagues React to Jennings' Death
August 8, 2005

The man who brought news to millions of Americans for nearly five decades is saying his final goodbye. Just four months after Peter Jennings announced to the world that he was battling lung cancer, the legendary anchorman died in his New York home Sunday. He was 67.

Today, friends, colleagues and even competitors of the legendary newsman are coming to "Extra" to share their very personal memories of Jennings.

Charlie Gibson broke in with the shocking news late Sunday night, and Diane Sawyer struggled to keep her composure on "Good Morning America" Monday morning, saying, "Bare with us this morning; it's kind of rough around here."

And today, Jennings is being remembered as a hard-nosed journalist with a huge heart. "When I got the current assignment I have, the first person who called me was Peter Jennings to say congratulations," revealed CBS anchor Bob Schieffer.

Jennings was also a fierce competitor. On "GMA" Monday morning, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather said they loved the guy, but were never excited to go head-to-head with him.

"How much did I keep an eye on him? Constantly, all the time," Rather admitted. "I never let him out of my sight. When Peter Jennings was in the area code, I didn't sleep."

Jennings first announced that he had lung cancer back in April, and as his condition worsened, he continued to work on the newscasts behind the scenes, which came as no surprise to ABC news president David Westin.

Today, an emotional Barbara Walters said that Jennings could be tough and demanding, but in the end, he always brought out the best in people. "I work pretty hard," Walters said. "He made me work harder."

In some ways, Jennings was an unlikely news star. He was born in Canada and dropped out of high school. But Jennings made it through with his work ethic and charisma.

Jennings will always be remembered as the man we could trust. He is survived by his wife Kayce and his two children.


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