“Almost 10 million Americans are living with cancer,” Jennings wrote. “I am sure I will learn from them how to cope with the facts of life that none of us anticipated.”
MORE: Jennings vows to continue.
STILL MORE: He tried to quit smoking.
Jennings did not anchor the newscast Tuesday (4/5/05) evening, but at the end of the World News Tonight, ABC aired a taped statement from the anchor. Jennings told viewers that he had tried to quit smoking 20 years ago, but he had taken the habit up again. “I was weak and smoked over 9/11,” he said.
“Certainly, it’s been a long time, and I hope it goes without saying that a journalist who doesn’t value, deeply, the audience’s loyalty should be in another line of work,” Jennings said, acknowledging that his voice sounded hoarse. “Finally, I wonder if other men and women ask their doctors right away, ‘OK, Doc, when does the hair go?’ “
Jennings had told CNN’s Larry King in a 1994 interview that he used to smoke “like a chimney.”
“My kids were on my case to quit. … Some of the best pictures of me as a kid … (were taken during) the moon landing. There am I doing the graveyard shift in a sports jacket, which would embarrass me now, with my sideburns down to here and a cigarette in my hand. On television! How times have changed.”
Read Peter’s email sent to staff at ABC News.