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Jessica Savitch
Birth: Feb. 1, 1947
Kennett Square
Chester County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Oct. 23, 1983
New Hope
Bucks County
Pennsylvania, USA

Television Journalist. She is remembered as the first woman to anchor the NBC weekend national newscast "NBC Nightly News," periodically filling in for television journalists John Chancellor and David Brinkley. The oldest daughter of a Jewish clothing store owner and a US Navy nurse, her family moved to Margate, New Jersey after her father's death in 1959. She attended Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, where she worked at the campus radio and television stations, and at radio stations WOND (AM) in Linwood, NJ, WROC (AM), and as a top 40 disk jockey at WBBF (AM) in Rochester, New York. She graduated from Ithaca College in 1968 and worked at various radio and television stations, including WCBS (AM) in New York City, New York and KHOU-TV in Houston, Texas. She then became a popular local television newscaster at KYW-TV, the former NBC affiliate (now CBS) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a Washington correspondent for NBC News. In 1977 she joined NBC News and was named in a 1982 TV Guide poll as one of the most trusted news anchors in the country, above many of the most established male anchors of the era. That same year, she published her autobiography "Anchorwoman" and the following year she became a PBS anchor for "Frontline." She died at the age of 36 from drowning after the car she was riding in ran off the road and crashed into a canal. Her life was the subject of a Lifetime Television made-for-TV movie, starring Sela Ward, called "Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story." The movie "Up Close & Personal" (1996, with Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer) was originally intended as a biographical film about her but the plot of the movie was substantially changed to become a love story quite different from her life, possibly because the true story of her life was considered too downbeat to be popular at the box office. In 2006 the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia posthumously inducted her into their Hall of Fame. She was married twice; first to Philadelphia advertising agent Melvin Korn (1980 to 1981) and then to gynecologist Dr. David Payne (March 1981 until his death in August 1981). (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  David Savitch (1925 - 1959)
  Florence Goldberger Savitch (1918 - 1997)

Cause of death: Auto Accident (Drowned)
 
Burial:
Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea.
Specifically: Ashes scattered in the Atlantic Ocean
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Dec 28, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 19213
Jessica Savitch
Added by: Anonymous
 
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Remembering Jessica 31 years later
- Nancy Forrest
 Added: Oct. 20, 2014

- laura from Italy
 Added: Oct. 20, 2014
Thank you for your contributions to television journalism and leading the way for women to become successful in that field. May your soul be at peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Sep. 19, 2014
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Current ranking for this person: (4.1 after 174 votes)
 

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