Jim Vance—an African-American TV news broadcast pioneer—has died, NBC News Washington reports.
According to the outlet, Vance succumbed to a battle with cancer on Saturday. He was 75.
The teacher-turned-journalist, who was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, launched his broadcast career in 1969 at WRC-TV in Washington where he worked his way up to the anchor chair in 1972, the outlet writes.
According to the Washington Post, Vance was one of the first Black anchors at a major media network. During his career, which lasted for 48 years, he delivered news stories surrounding pivotal moments in American history, including the race riots that occurred in Columbia Heights and on U Street in Washington during the late 1960s, the Watergate scandal in the 1970s and the September 11th terrorist attacks.
He also provided global coverage on events in South Africa and Vietnam and reported on 12 presidential inaugurations, the source reported. According to NBC News Washington, Vance and his broadcast partner Doreen Gentzler were one of the longest-running anchor duos in the nation, and their high viewership placed their 11:00 p.m. show among the top-rated.
Vance’s on-air work embedded him into the fabric of the Washington community. Before he died a mural of his likeness was added to the famed Ben’s Chili Bowl in the District of Columbia.
Following his passing, Jackie Bradford, president and general manager of NBC4, released a statement reflecting on Vance’s legacy.
“For more than 45 years, Jim Vance was not only the soul of NBC4 but of the entire Washington area. His smooth voice, brilliant mind and unforgettable laugh leaves each of us with a tremendous void,” said Bradford, according to NBC News Washington. “Jim loved his job, his family and Washington with all his heart, and we will all cherish the legacy he has left us forever.”
Several people took to social media to share their condolences.
Vance is survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren.