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Uma Pemmaraju, original Fox News anchor, dead at 64

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Founding Fox News Channel anchor Uma Pemmaraju died Monday at the age of 64.

Pemmaraju’s death was announced by FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, who said that the Texas-born journalist was best known for her kindness and was an incredibly talented journalist.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of Uma Pemmaraju, who was one of FOX News Channel’s founding anchors and was on the air the day we launched,” said Scott.

“Uma was an incredibly talented journalist as well as a warm and lovely person, best known for her kindness to everyone she worked with. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her entire family.”

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As of Wednesday morning, the cause of her death has not been released to the public.

Pemmaraju was born in India before her family moved to Texas where she studied at Trinity University and received a degree in political science. She then joined a local news station in Dallas before moving to Baltimore and later to Boston’s WBZ-TV.

While in Baltimore, she won an Emmy for a story covering a rescue of a child who nearly drowned.

Fellow WBZ-TV anchor David Wade said in a tweet that Pemmaraju’s family called her a “noble soul and pioneer.” 

Uma Pemmaraju focused much of her career on telling the stories of the disenfranchised.
Monica Schipper/WireImage
Pemmaraju's family called her a a "noble soul and pioneer." 
Pemmaraju’s family called her a “noble soul and pioneer.” 
Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Family members have not made the cause of death public as of Wednesday.
Family members have not made the cause of death public as of Wednesday.
Fox

In 1996, Pemmaraju joined Fox News when it launched on October 7. Pemmaraju was one of the only Indian-American anchors to reach national prominence and was loved by both viewers and colleagues.

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Pemmaraju left Fox to join Bloomberg News in New York, but later rejoined the network in 2003 where she made a name for herself as a substitute anchoring across various programs including “The Fox Report” and the Sunday edition of “FOX News Live.” At one point, she even interviewed the Dalai Lama.

Much of Pemmaraju’s career focused on reporting about the disenfranchised.

“I’m a conduit to help other people,” Pemmaraju once said in an interview with The Boston Globe.

“I don’t want to sound too sentimental. But that’s what I’m about. I want to use my celebrity to help people, to help bring about something that needs to be done.”

Pemmaraju was named “Boston’s Best Anchor” in 1996 and 1997 by Boston Magazine as well as one of the “20 Intriguing Women of 1998” by Spotlight Magazine.

Pemmaraju is survived by her daughter Kirina Alana Devi.

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