Family and friends will gather in Washington, D.C. Friday to honor the life of longtime PBS NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer. PBS NewsHour will have live coverage of his memorial service.
Lehrer began his public television career at KERA as the executive director of public affairs and creator of Newsroom. His pioneering work led him to Washington, D.C., and the National Public Affairs Center for Television, where he met Robert MacNeil. The two would form a partnership that lasted decades, working together on PBS’ nightly news program.
Lehrer was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1934, but moved to Beaumont, Texas, and later San Antonio, where he graduated from high school. He joined The Dallas Morning News in 1959 and later moved on to work for the Dallas Times-Herald before transitioning from newspapers to television.
In addition to anchoring the evening news, Lehrer moderated presidential and vice presidential debates, interviewed presidents and received some of the most prestigious awards in journalism — including Emmys and a George Foster Peabody Broadcast Award. He also wrote several books and plays.
Veteran Dallas journalist and host of KERA’s CEO Lee Cullum worked with Lehrer on Newsroom.
“What set him apart was Jim had enormous integrity as a journalist, and he had the nerve of a high diver," Cullum said. “I will miss his wonderful company, I will miss his lovely notes, I will miss his point of view. I will miss all that he brought to the world and to all our lives.“
Lehrer died at home in his sleep. He was 85.