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Lee Thornton, Famed Journalist and Former NPR Host, Dies

WI Web Staff | 9/27/2013, 5:30 p.m.
Lee Thornton, a former CNN and CBS correspondent and the interim dean for the University of Maryland's journalism school, died ...
Lee Thornton (Courtesy of the University of Maryland)

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.

Click here to view the University of Maryland's tribute to Thorton