Former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw died Wednesday of pneumonia unrelated to Covid-19, Shaw’s family announced in a statement Thursday. Shaw was 82.
Shaw was CNN’s first chief anchor and was with the network when it launched on June 1, 1980. He retired from CNN after more than 20 years on February 28, 2001.
During his storied career, Shaw reported on some of the biggest stories of that time – including the student revolt in Tiananmen Square in May 1989, the First Gulf war live from Baghdad in 1991, and the 2000 presidential election.
“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,” Chris Licht, CNN Chairman and CEO, said in a statement Thursday. “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.”
Funeral services for Shaw will be closed to family and invited guests only, with a public memorial service planned at a later time, his family said.
“In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Bernard Shaw Scholarship Fund at the University of Chicago. The Shaw family requests complete privacy at this time,” the family said in their statement provided by former CNN CEO Tom Johnson.
In a statement, Johnson said Shaw “exemplified excellence in his life” and will be “remembered as a fierce advocate of responsible journalism.”
“As a journalist, he demanded accuracy and fairness in news coverage. He earned the respect of millions of viewers around the world for his integrity and independence. He resisted forcefully any lowering of ethical news standards or any compromise of solid news coverage. He always could be trusted as a reporter and as an anchor,” Johnson said.
“Bernie was my personal friend and colleague for more than 55 years. I will miss him enormously,” he added. “My wife Edwina and I extend our most genuine condolences to Bernie’s wife Linda and to his family.”