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“MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour” anchor was 93




"MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour" anchor was 93

Robert “Robin” MacNeil, co-host and co-founder of PBS NewsHour, died on April 12, PBS announced. He was 93

MacNeil died Friday morning of natural causes at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, his daughter, Alison MacNeil, said the New York Times.

Following their coverage of the 1973 Senate Watergate hearings, MacNeil and co-host Jim Lehrer founded the precursor to the PBS “MacNeil/Lehrer Report” in 1975.

“I am so deeply saddened by the loss of a dear friend. One of the greatest honors of my life was working with Robin MacNeil and being part of how he and Jim Lehrer changed television news,” said Judy Woodruff, PBS NewsHour senior correspondent and former anchor and editor-in-chief, in a statement. “He was brilliant and courteous, but always with a wonderful sense of irony. I am so grateful to have spoken to him on his birthday in January, when that iconic, deep Canadian baritone voice sounded exactly as it did when he last hosted the NewsHour almost thirty years ago.”

“Robin was one of a kind. With his distinctive voice, he brought stories to life and unraveled complex issues with clarity and compassion,” said PBS NewsHour co-anchors Geoff Bennett and Amna Nawaz. “Whether it was through his incisive reporting or his intimate interviews, he had a unique ability to connect with people. As we reflect on his many contributions, we honor his memory by continuing to pursue the truth and by fostering connections that bridge divisions – just as Robin did with such grace and power. We are deeply grateful for the lasting legacy he leaves behind.”

Throughout MacNeil’s career as an award-winning journalist, he interviewed hundreds of national and international newsmakers, including Martin Luther King Jr., Ayatollah Khomeini and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. MacNeil provided on-the-ground reporting on some of the biggest stories in America, including the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Known as Robin, he was born in Montreal and was hired for CBC radio productions while in college. He joined NBC News after five years at Reuters in London, where he covered the Cuban Missile Crisis and reportedly contacted Lee Harvey Oswald while looking for a phone after President Kennedy was shot. In 1971 he joined PBS.

MacNeil wrote several books, including four novels, after retiring from PBS.

MacNeil is survived by his children Alison and Will MacNeil, Ian MacNeil, Cathy MacNeil and five grandchildren.