PBS NewsHour co-founder Jim Lehrer dies at 85

by Daniel Payne · Jan 24th, 2020 1:53 pm

Jim Lehrer, the journalist and co-founder of the long-running PBS NewsHour, died on Thursday in his sleep. He was 85 years old.

Lehrer, who received a degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1956, was known for decades as a fixture on PBS. The PBS NewsHour had its roots in Lehrer and journalist Robert MacNeil's broadcasting of the Watergate hearings, after which the public broadcasting network gave the journalists a dedicated news program.

Lehrer's storied career included being present in Dallas during the shooting of President John F. Kennedy. Lehrer claimed to have asked the Secret Service if the president's car would have a weatherproof bubble on the top of it in case of rain. The Secret Service agent reportedly removed the bubble after Lehrer's question.

Lehrer was known to abide by numerous rules during his reporting career, including the ironclad maxim: "I am not in the entertainment business."