Respected US broadcaster Jim Lehrer, best known for the PBS NewsHour, has died aged 85.
He died peacefully in his sleep, according to PBS. He previously suffered a heart attack in 1983 and had undergone heart valve surgery in 2008.
In 1975, Lehrer became the Washington correspondent for The Robert MacNeil Report renamed as The MacNeil/Lehrer Report. In 1983 it was relaunched as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, before further changes to The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and PBS NewsHour.
Politics, international relations, economics, science, even developments in the arts were all given lengthy, detailed coverage in the show, which screened in Australia on SBS.
Lehrer was also a frequent moderator of US presidential debates, and anchored PBS coverage of inaugurations and conventions.
“I think when the major political parties of this country gather together their people and resources in one place to nominate their candidates, that’s important,“ he told the Associated Press in 2000.
Lehrer once wrote that it was ironic that the Watergate hearings helped establish the importance of public TV, since President Richard Nixon hated public broadcasting. He also recalled that the lengthy hearings gave him the chance to practice his new craft, and MacNeil, already a veteran, gave him valuable pointers on how to speak on camera clearly and conversationally.
Source: The Guardian