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Lee Thornton, Famed Journalist and Former NPR Host, Dies

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Lee Thornton, a former CNN and CBS correspondent and the interim dean for the University of Maryland’s journalism school, died Sept. 25 after a brief illness. She was 71.

Thorton had been battling pancreatic cancer, journalism website Mediabistro reported.

Thornton began with CBS in New York in 1974 before moving to Washington, where she worked with esteemed journalists Lesley Stahl and Ed Bradley. As the White House correspondent was the first African-American woman to regularly cover that beat for a major news network.

In 1982, she moved to NPR, becoming the first black woman to host the weekend edition of “All Things Considered.” She later returned to television, joining CNN in 1992.

Thornton joined the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland in 1997. She also produced several programs for the college, including “Front & Center,” an award-winning series of in-depth interviews with fellow journalists.

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0 # gigi hinton 2013-10-01 09:20
Lee Thornton was an accomplished journalist and a wonderful and compassionate mentor to so many young journalists. I first met her, when she booked me on the Jesse Jackson Show to discuss a story I had produced. In later years, she hired me at CNN and was always my most supportive and unfailing inspiration. She was a loving and beautiful woman, one whose real contributions to journalism far exceed the doors she kicked open for women and minorities. She was my friend.
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