Marlene Sanders, one of the first female broadcast TV journalists, passed away Tuesday after a bout with cancer. She was 84.
Jeffrey Toobin, the CNN legal analyst and New York Times staff writer who is Sanders' son, announced her death on his Facebook page, writing, “A pioneering television journalist . . . she informed and inspired a generation. Above all, though, she was a great Mom,” according to Time magazine.
When ABC host Ron Cochran lost his voice one night in 1964, Sanders became the first woman to anchor a prime-time network newscast, according to USA Today.
This was before Barbara Walters, who is typically considered the first female news anchor, began co-anchoring the “ABC Evening News” in 1976.
Additionally, Sanders was the first network TV female journalist to report from Vietnam in 1966 and the first female vice president of a news division in 1976 for ABC.
The recipient of three Emmy Awards, Sanders is known for her hundreds of documentaries produced for ABC and for CBS where she worked as a documentary correspondent/producer starting in 1978 for nearly a decade.
For three months in 1971, Sanders also anchored “ABC Weekend News” on Saturdays in place of Sam Donaldson.
After her career as a broadcaster, she taught at New York University as an adjunct professor of journalism where she worked until recently, according to USA Today.
Jerome Toobin, Sanders' husband and PBS New York station WNET’s former director of news and public affairs, died in 1984.
Sanders is survived by her son and two grandchildren.
Twitter users shared their gratitude for Sanders’ work:
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