Former CNN Anchor Bobbie Battista Dies at 67 After Battling Cervical Cancer

Bobbie Battista, one of the original anchors of CNN Headline News, has died.

Battista died on Tuesday morning at the age of 67 after a four-year battle with cervical cancer, a family spokeswoman told CNN.

“Bobbie was the consummate trooper in her struggle with cancer, she was courageous and fearless in her battle and thoughtful for all the others in her life even as she fought through the pain,” Battista’s husband John Brimelow told CNN in a statement. “My dear partner of 25 years of marriage has cut her earthly bonds and is now in peace.”

David P. Gelles, CNN’s executive producer of political programming, also announced the news on Twitter, remembering Battista’s 20-year career at the network.

Battista, a graduate of Northwestern University, began her career at a country music radio station in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, then became the anchor and producer of Action News 5 for WRAL-TV in Raleigh. She began her television career at WRAL-TV in 1976.

In 1981, Battista joined the CNN Headline News station as an anchor when the network launched. By 1988, she was moved to the main network and began anchoring several news programs, including TalkBack Live, which aired before a studio audience in the CNN Center in Atlanta, featuring newsmakers and public participation. She also anchored Today, World News and Prime News, as well as other shows and specials.

In 2001, Battista reflected on her tenure at the network and shared her advice for aspiring reporters.

“You must go to college,” she said. “You must major in either political science or broadcast journalism. You’ll have to be willing to go to a small town somewhere, and do your time in the trenches. There’s a lot of competition, and you have to work your way up.”

“Or, you can start at an entry level position at a [network like] CNN, but if you want to be an anchor, you’ll have to do your time in the trenches,” she added. “You have to love what you do. It’s probably one of the most rewarding fields you could ever choose to work in.”

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