Jessica Savitch Biography
Jessica Savitch was an American television news reporter and broadcaster. She is mainly known as the host of PBS’s Frontline and also as a weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News.
Jessica was born on February 1 1947 in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. She was born to Florence and David Savitch. Her mother Florence was a navy nurse while her father David ran a clothing store. She was the eldest daughter in her family. Her maternal grandmother was Catholic and Italian American while her maternal grandfather and her father was Jewish. In 1959 her father died and after that she with her family moved to Margate, New Jersey. She studied at Ithaca College located in Ithaca, New York. While she was studying at the college she worked at the campus TV and radio stations. She also worked at a newstalk station in Linwood, WOND 1400. During her college days she was a top 40 disc jockey at an AM outlet, WBBF in Rochester.
In 1968, after her graduation she started working at various TV and radio stations. Some of stations include KHOU-TV in Houston and WCBS in New York. She then worked at the former NBC affiliate KYW-TV in Philadelphia and was successful in becoming a popular local television newscaster. She also as a Washington correspondent worked for NBC News. She then joined NBC News in 1977. She became the NBC News’s first woman to anchor a weekend national newscast. She became the first woman to anchor the flagship NBC Nightly News periodically filling for David Brinkley and John Chancellor. She was named one of the most trusted news anchors in the country by the 1982 TV Guide poll. Her autobiography Anchorman was published in 1982. She then worked for Frontline on PBS in the following year.
She had dinner with the vice president of the New York Post, Martin Fischbein in New Hope, Pennsylvania on October 23, 1983. They had their meal at Odette’s Restaurant. After their meal at Restaurant, they drove home at about 7:15 p.m. Vice President Martin sat behind the wheel while Jessica sat with her dog named Chewy in the back seat. Martin took the wrong exit from the restaurant as he missed posted warnings in heavy rainfall. They drove the towpath of the old Pennsylvania Canal’s Delaware Divisions to the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River. Unfortunately, the car went over the edge into the shallow water of the canal. They fell approximately 15 feet and landed upside down. They were trapped inside and the water starting to pour in. At about 11:30 that night, a local resident found the place where the incident took place. Martin and her dog were in the rear while Martin’s body was still strapped behind the wheel. They both died from asphyxiation by drowning. There was no information about dog Chewy. There was no part of drugs or alcohol in the crash.
A film was made in the subject of her life called Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story starring Sela Ward. Another film Up Close & Personal about Savitch was made starring Michelle Pfeiffer.