Peter Charles Archibald Ewart Jennings CM (July 29, 1938 – August 7, 2005) was a Canadian-American television journalist who served as the sole anchor of ABC World News Tonight from 1983 until his death from lung cancer in 2005. He dropped out of high school, yet he transformed himself into one of American television's most prominent journalists.
Jennings started his career early, hosting a Canadian radio show at age 9. He began his professional career with CJOH-TV in Ottawa during its early years, anchoring the local newscasts and hosting the teen dance show Saturday Date on Saturdays. In 1965, ABC News tapped him to anchor its flagship evening news program. Critics and others in the television news business attacked his inexperience, making his job difficult. He became a foreign correspondent in 1968, reporting from the Middle East.
Jennings returned as one of World News Tonight's three anchormen in 1978, and he was promoted to sole anchorman in 1983. He was also known for his marathon coverage of breaking news stories, staying on the air for 15 hours or more to anchor the live broadcast of events such as the Gulf War in 1991, the millennium celebrations in 1999-2000, and the September 11 attacks in 2001. In addition to anchoring, he was the host of many ABC News special reports and moderated several American presidential debates. He was always fascinated with the United States and became an American citizen in 2003.
Jennings was one of the "Big Three" news anchormen, along with Tom Brokaw of NBC and Dan Rather of CBS, who dominated American evening network news from the early 1980s until his death in 2005, which closely followed the retirements from anchoring evening news programs of Brokaw in 2004 and Rather in 2005.