For all the television reportage on the life and death of ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, some of the best coverage is online.
ABC News, as might be expected, devotes a sizable chunk of its home page to coverage of the life and career of Jennings, who died Sunday of lung cancer at the age of 67. The ABC News web site includes video clips of Jennings' most dramatic reporting, plus links to a message board where viewers can post their own comments. Rival networks CBSNEWS and MSNBC give Jennings his due, with lead-in coverage.
Filing from Beirut, Dan Rather called Jennings a "great pro...a loyal friend," with a passionate curiosity and an intense desire to compete. MSNBC contributor Michael Ventre in his report on Jennings noted with irony that "the last trustworthy American was born a Canadian." Jennings did not become a U.S. citizen until 2003, but he "was an honorary American, one of the small handful of people we went to for the truth. And he came through. He never lied to us. He always gave it to us straight."
Jennings had an amazing career, especially considering he never completed high school or college. He joined ABC News in 1964, and was recruited at just age 26 to anchor the ABC Evening News in 1965. “It was a little ridiculous when you think about it,” Jennings told author Barbara Matusow, according to the Associated Press. “A twenty-six-year-old trying to compete with Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley. I was simply unqualified.”
As anchor during his first stint, he was panned by critics. In 1968, to challenge and test himself, he moved to the Middle East, to Beirut, Lebanon, to open the first network news bureau in the Arab world, where he reported from for six years.
Except for a brief hiatus as the host of the predecessor of "Good Morning America," he remained ABC's chief foreign correspondent until he became anchor and senior editor of ABC's World News Tonight in 1983.
From MSNBC.com, you can also watch free video reflections of Jennings' rival Tom Brokaw, first broadcast on NBC's "Today" show. "Peter...was our prince. He seemed so timeless. He had such elan and style,” Brokaw said.