Uma Pemmaraju, founding anchor of Fox News Channel, died earlier this month in Ossining, New York. She was 64 years old and the cause of death was not disclosed.
Pemmaraju was born in India and moved to San Antonio as a baby. In high school, she worked as a reporter for the San Antonio Express-Newsand interviewed CBS Evening News the anchor Walter Cronkite, the NY Times reported.
She graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and got into local television. Pemmaraju worked at a station in Baltimore before landing anchor positions at WLVI and WBZ in Boston, and was a correspondent on WBZ’s Evening magazine.
Pemmaraju has also taught journalism at Emerson College and Harvard University.
She was recruited to Fox News by senior programming director Chet Collier, according to The New York Timesand was on the network when it launched in 1996. She hosted Fox News Now.
Fox News said Pemmaraju was the first Indian-American anchor to appear regularly on national television.
Pemmaraju left Fox News in 1999 to give birth, then worked at a Dallas station and returned to Fox News in 2003 as a news anchor and backup host, and Sunday host of Fox News Live.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Uma Pemmaraju, who was one of Fox News Channel’s founding anchors and was on air the day we launched,” said Suzanne Scott, CEO of Fox News Media. “Uma was also an incredibly talented journalist, as well as a warm and lovely person, best known for her kindness to everyone she worked with. We send our deepest condolences to all of her family.
She left Fox again in 2018 and joined Bloomberg News, but left within the year due to back issues.
Pemmaraju was working on a book at the time of his death about heroic deeds performed by ordinary people. ■