Richest CelebritiesAuthors
Net Worth:
$53.5 Million
$10 Million
Jul 29, 1938 - Aug 7, 2005 (67 years old)
Writer, TV Anchor, Journalist
United States of America
💰 Compare Peter Jennings' Net Worth

What was Peter Jennings' net worth?

Peter Jennings was a Canadian-American journalist and news anchor who had a net worth of $53.5 million at the time of his death. A few months after his death, Peter's estate filed paperwork that revealed his net worth at the time of his passing was exactly $53.5 million. The majority of his estate was left to his widow and two children from a previous marriage. Specifically, he left his widow Kayce Freed 50% of his "net marital estate" and their Central Park West apartment. As we detail later in this article, Kayce continued living in their apartment through April 2023 when she listed it for sale for $10.45 million. His two adult children split the other half. The estate also left $1 million to the Peter Jennings Foundation.

Peter Jennings was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in July 1938 and passed away in August 2005. Jennings was best known for being the sole anchor of the ABC television series "World News Tonight" from 1983 until his death in 2005. He did not graduate high school and actually started his career at just nine years old, hosting a Canadian radio show. Jennings worked at CJOH-TV in Ottawa and anchored a local newscast and a teen dance show. He was hired by ABC News in 1965 and worked as a foreign correspondent. In 1978 he became one of World News Tonight's three anchors and he became the sole anchor in 1983. Renowned for his calm demeanor, smooth delivery, and in-depth reporting, Jennings covered some of the most significant news events of his time, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 9/11 attacks, and multiple U.S. presidential elections. Jennings also hosted presidential debates and authored three books. He won 16 Emmy Awards and two George Foster Peabody Awards. Peter Jennings passed away on August 7, 2005 from lung cancer at the age of 67.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Peter Jennings was born into a broadcasting family, as his father, Charles Jennings, was a pioneering journalist and a senior executive at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Peter Jennings' early exposure to the world of journalism ignited his passion for news reporting. Despite dropping out of high school, Jennings' charisma and determination helped him secure his first job in radio at the age of 17.

In 1961, Jennings moved to the United States, where he worked as a correspondent for ABC News. His talent and hard work led to his appointment as the anchor of ABC's flagship news program, the "Peter Jennings with the News," in 1965. At 26, Jennings became the youngest-ever news anchor for a major American television network.

Return to the Field and Overseas Reporting

In 1968, Jennings left the anchor desk and returned to the field as a foreign correspondent, reporting from locations such as the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. He served as ABC's bureau chief in Beirut, Lebanon, from 1969 to 1975, covering major events such as the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist attack and the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Jennings' overseas reporting experiences helped him develop a deep understanding of international affairs and sharpen his journalistic skills.

ABC World News Tonight

In 1983, Peter Jennings was named the sole anchor and senior editor of "ABC World News Tonight." Under his leadership, the program rose to prominence, becoming one of the most-watched evening news programs in the United States. Jennings' extensive knowledge of international affairs and his ability to humanize complex stories helped him connect with audiences across the country.

During his tenure at ABC World News Tonight, Jennings covered numerous historical events, including the Iran-Contra affair, the fall of the Soviet Union, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Gulf War. He also played an instrumental role in the network's coverage of U.S. presidential elections, providing insightful analysis and interviews with key political figures.

Peter Jennings

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Contract and Salary

Heading into what ended up being his final ABC contract negotiation in 2002, Peter Jennings was earning an annual salary of $10 million from the network. At that time he was the highest paid news anchor at ABC.

Special Reports and Documentaries

In addition to his work as a news anchor, Peter Jennings was known for his in-depth special reports and documentaries. Among his most notable works were "The Century," a 26-hour series that explored the major events and trends of the 20th century, and "The Search for Jesus," which delved into the historical and religious aspects of Jesus Christ's life.

Awards and Recognition

Throughout his career, Peter Jennings received numerous awards and honors for his journalistic contributions, including 16 Emmy Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, and several Edward R. Murrow Awards. In recognition of his commitment to journalistic integrity and his impact on the field of news reporting, Jennings was posthumously inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2006.

Personal Life and Death

Peter Jennings was married four times and had two children, Elizabeth and Christopher. In April 2005, he revealed to viewers that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Despite his illness, Jennings remained dedicated to his work, continuing to anchor "ABC World News Tonight" and participating in news broadcasts whenever his health allowed. On August 7, 2005, Peter Jennings succumbed to the disease at his home in New York City, surrounded by his family. His passing marked the end of an era in American broadcast journalism, but his legacy as an exceptional journalist and news anchor lives on. In the wake of his death, numerous tributes were paid to Jennings by his colleagues, viewers, and fellow journalists, highlighting the tremendous impact he had on the industry and the lives of those who watched him deliver the news.

Real Estate

In the 1990s, Peter bought a three-bedroom co-op overlooking Central Park West. Upon his death, this apartment was left to his widow Kayce Freed Jennings. Kayce continued living in the unit through April 2023 when she listed it for sale for $10.45 million.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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