Marlene Sanders Dies: Groundbreaking Journalist Was 84

Marlene Sanders, one of TV’s first female journalists and war correspondents died Tuesday of cancer. She was 84. Sanders’ son, CNN legal analyst and New Yorker magazine staff writer Jeffrey Toobin, announced her death on his Facebook page.

“Marlene Sanders, my mother, died today. A pioneering television journalist – the first network newswoman to report from Vietnam, among many other firsts – she informed and inspired a generation. Above all, though, she was a great Mom,” Toobin wrote Sunday.

On Toobin’s Facebook page, NBC News legal analyst and investigative reporter Cynthia McFadden wrote:

So sorry for your loss Jeff. I know how deeply proud she was of you and how much you counted on her. She was an inspiration to so many people in so many ways. Seventeen years ago she said to me when I was pregnant with Spencer, “Never apologize to your child for working. Let him know you love your work. That is a great gift.” My deepest sympathies.

Early in her career Sanders worked for ABC News, where in 1964 she became the first woman to anchor a primetime network newscast when she filled in for Ron Cochran, who had lost his voice that night. She became VP of ABC News in 1976. Sanders moved to CBS News in 1978 as a documentary correspondent and producer, where she remained until 1987.

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