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 Jessica Savitch

Jessica Savitch

Kennett Square, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 23 Oct 1983 (aged 36)
New Hope, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea, Specifically: Ashes scattered in the Atlantic Ocean
Memorial ID 19213 · View Source
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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

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 28 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 19213
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jessica Savitch (1 Feb 1947–23 Oct 1983), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19213, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea, who reports a Ashes scattered in the Atlantic Ocean.