Original Fox News Channel Anchor Uma Pemmaraju Dies at 64
According to Fox News, founding Fox News Channel anchor Uma Pemmaraju has died at age 64.
“We are deeply saddened,” FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said.
Fox reports that Pemmaraju was part of the launch team when Fox News aired on Oct. 7, 1996.
Pemmaraju was born in India, raised in Texas and worked at stations in Dallas, Baltimore and Boston before relocating to New York to help launch the Fox News Channel.
A pioneer in the field, Pemmaraju was one of the only Indian-American anchors of a national news platform. Fox News reports that “she was beloved by viewers and Fox News colleagues alike.”
FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott issued a brief statement:
“We are deeply saddened by the death of Uma Pemmaraju, who was one of FOX News Channel’s founding anchors and was on the air the day we launched. Uma was an incredibly talented journalist as well as a warm and lovely person, best known for her kindness to everyone she worked with. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her entire family.”
Information on the cause of death is not available at this time.
Pemmaraju anchored “Fox News Now” and “Fox On Trends.” She left the network for a time, then was rehired in 2003 as an anchor and substitute host for various shows on the network.
Fox News reports that “Pemmaraju also hosted the Sunday edition of ‘FOX News Live,’ anchored ‘The Fox Report’ and interviewed newsmakers, celebrities and political figures from all walks of life, including a memorable sit-down with the Dalai Lama.”
Extremely versatile, Pemmaraju appeared in a variety of specials for Fox News, including “A Special for Young People,” which featured notables offering advice to young adults on life’s challenges.
Pemmaraju’s family told WBZ-TV’s David Wade she was a “noble soul and pioneer.”
Fox News reports that Pemmaraju was named “Boston’s Best Anchor” in 1996 and 1997 by Boston Magazine and received several Emmy awards throughout her career.
Her other awards include being named one of Spotlight Magazine’s “20 Intriguing Women of 1998” and winning the Texas AP award for reporting in 2002, the Woman of Achievement award from the Big Sisters Organization of America and the Matrix Award from Women in Communications.
Pemmaraju also taught journalism at Emerson College and Harvard University.
This story may be updated as more information becomes available.