Former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw died at age 82 on Wednesday of pneumonia, his family revealed in a statement on Thursday.
Tributes came pouring in from fellow journalists and notable figures remembering the trailblazer and pioneering Black broadcast icon who worked as CNN’s first chief anchor when the cable news network now owned by Warner Bros. Discovery
Shaw was a former U.S. Marine who worked as a reporter at CBS and ABC News before joining CNN — which was the only cable news network at that time. Instead, broadcast outlets at ABC, CBS and NBC dominated television news.
“In all of the years of preparing to being anchor, one of the things I strove for was to be able to control my emotions in the midst of hell breaking out,” Shaw said in a 2014 interview with NPR. “And I personally feel that I passed my stringent test for that in Baghdad.”
CNN noted in his obit that Shaw covered some of the biggest stories over four decades before he retired in 2001 after working at the network for more than 20 years. They included the Tiananmen Square student revolt in May 1989, the First Gulf war in 1991 (when he was live in Baghdad) and the 2000 presidential election.
CNN chairman and CEO Chris Licht shared the following statement: “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. 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.”
Shaw’s family told CNN that funeral services will be closed to family and invited guests only, with a public memorial service planned at a later time.
Here are some more tributes to the beloved anchor, whose name was soon trending on Twitter on Thursday.
Associated Press reporting contributed to this article.