Jennings established the first American television news bureau in the Arab world in 1968 when he served as ABC News' bureau chief for Beirut, Lebanon, a position he held for seven years. He helped put ABC News on the map in 1972 with his coverage of the Summer Olympics in Munich, when Arab terrorists took Israeli athletes hostage.
In 1975, Jennings moved to Washington to become the news anchor of ABC's morning program "A.M. America." After a short stint there, Jennings returned overseas to Rome where he stayed before moving to London to become ABC's Chief Foreign Correspondent. In 1978, he was named the foreign desk anchor for "World News Tonight." He co-anchored the program with Frank Reynolds in Washington, D.C., and Max Robinson in Chicago until 1983.
Jennings was named anchor and senior editor of "World News Tonight" in 1983. In more than 20 years in the position he was honored with almost every major award given to television journalists.
His extensive domestic and overseas reporting experience proved to be invaluable during "World News Tonight's" coverage of major crises. Jennings reported from all 50 states and locations around the globe. During the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 War in Iraq, his knowledge of Middle Eastern affairs brought invaluable perspective to ABC News' coverage. Jennings interviewed the most important national and international figures of our time and anchored the ABC News coverage of every major national election since 1984.
In "Peter Jennings Reporting," which debuted in 1990, Jennings covered challenging issues in depth during prime time. Millions watched the critically acclaimed "The Search for Jesus" in 2000 and "Jesus and Paul -- the Word and the Witness" in 2004. "Peter Jennings Reporting" also focused extensively on international news, with specials on tense relations between India and Pakistan, the conflict in Bosnia, the crisis in Haiti, the war in Iraq, and the drug trade in Central and South America. The series also tackled important domestic issues such as gun control policy, the politics of abortion, the crisis in funding for the arts and a highly praised chronicle of the accused bombers of Oklahoma City. "Peter Jennings Reporting" earned numerous awards, including the 2004 Edward R. Murrow award for best documentary for "The Kennedy Assassination -- Beyond Conspiracy."
Jennings had a particular interest in broadcasting for the next generation. He has done numerous live news specials for children on subjects ranging from growing up in the age of AIDS, to prejudice and its effects on our society. After the events of September 11, and again on the first anniversary, he anchored a town hall meeting for children and parents entitled, "Answering Children's Questions."
Jennings has been honored with many awards for news reporting, including 16 Emmys, two George Foster Peabody Awards, several Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards and several Overseas Press Club Awards. Most recently, "World News Tonight" was recognized with two consecutive Edward R. Murrow awards for best newscast, based on field reporting done by Jennings on the California wildfires and the transfer of power in Iraq.
He lived in Manhattan with his wife, Kayce Freed. He had two children -- Elizabeth, 25 and Christopher, 23.