Peter Jennings Diagnosed with Lung Cancer

Peter Jennings Diagnosed with Lung Cancer
Peter Jennings
Steve Fenn/ABC

updated 04/05/2005 at 12:00 PM EDT

originally published 04/05/2005 12:00PM

ABC World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings has lung cancer, he revealed to colleagues and friends in an e-mail on Tuesday, say reports.

The Houston Chronicle quotes Jennings's message as saying, in part: "As you all know, this is a challenge. I begin chemotherapy next week. I will continue to do the broadcast. There will be good days and bad, which means that some days I may be cranky and some days really cranky!"

Said ABC News executive David Westin, according to CNN: "He will begin outpatient treatment next week here in New York. ... It's both Peter's and my expectation that he will anchor World News Tonight during the period of treatment to the extent he can do so comfortably; but, we should also expect him to be off the broadcast from time to time, depending on how he feels."

Westin added: "Charlie Gibson, Elizabeth Vargas, and others will be substituting for Peter as necessary and when their other responsibilities permit. ... I know that all of us will give him every bit of support that he needs and asks for. Peter will once again lead the way, but we will stand with him at every turn."

Jennings, 66, was born in Toronto and moved to New York in 1964, when he became a correspondent for ABC News. He has served as anchor of the network's nightly newscast since 1983, and remains the sole survivor of the Big Three anchors after the recent retirements of NBC's Tom Brokaw and CBS's Dan Rather.

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