Advertisement

Bernard Shaw, pioneer anchor at CNN for 2 decades, dies at 82

CNN's Bernard Shaw holds an ACE award for Best Newscaster during the Academy of Cable Excellence Awards at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on January 14, 1990. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
1 of 4 | CNN's Bernard Shaw holds an ACE award for Best Newscaster during the Academy of Cable Excellence Awards at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on January 14, 1990. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Bernard Shaw, a pioneer Black broadcast journalist who was a staple on the anchor desk at CNN for two decades and provided numerous memorable on-air moments, died due to complications from pneumonia. He was 82.

Shaw died in a Washington, D.C., hospital on Wednesday, officials at the cable news network said on Thursday.

Advertisement

A constant presence on the air for CNN, Shaw had a distinguished journalism career for more than four decades.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, Shaw started his career at WNUS radio (now WGNB) in Chicago in 1964 before moving on to the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company, where he eventually served as chief White House correspondent.

Shaw spent three years with ABC News before moving on to his renowned stint at CNN when the network launched in 1980. He retired at CNN in 2001 but continued to appear on the network on various occasions as recently as 2020.

Advertisement

"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," CNN Chairman and CEO Chris Licht said in a statement Thursday. "The condolences of all of us at CNN go out to his wife Linda and his children."

There was no shortage of memorable or important moments over Shaw's lengthy career in news. He first gained widespread notice on March 30, 1981, for his continuous coverage of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

During the coverage, Shaw made multiple key observations on the air -- including "a very shaken" Secretary of State Alexander Haig after he appeared before the White House press corps and infamously declared, "I am in control here."

At one point in the continuous live coverage, Shaw and journalist Daniel Schorr were closely examining video footage of the shooting when Shaw pointed out that Reagan appeared to have been hit by the bullet a split second before he was shoved into the presidential limousine. It was later determined that the bullet had indeed struck Reagan at precisely the moment Shaw pointed to.

A decade later, Shaw again was noted for his live coverage of the start of the Gulf War in Iraq. He reported on the air for the network -- along with John Holliman and Peter Arnett -- from a Baghdad hotel even though they were in a very dangerous war zone, with rockets and gunfire exploding close enough to the team to be heard on the air.

Advertisement

"Clearly I've never been there, but this feels like we're in the center of hell," said at one moment during the coverage.

Shaw distinguished himself during other high-profile events, including the Tiananmen Square conflict in 1989 and the recount that followed the 2000 presidential election.

Shaw's family said funeral services will be private, but there will be a public memorial in the near future.

Notable Deaths of 2022

Anita Pointer
Anita Pointer of the Grammy-winning Pointer Sisters stands with Andy Madadian (C) and La Toya Jackson (L) as Madadian is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2020. Pointer, who performed alongside her sisters June and Ruth, died at the age of 74 on December 31 following a battle with cancer. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Latest Headlines