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Fox News colleagues remember 'friend to all' Uma Pemmaraju following her death at 64

Carlos De Loera, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Uma Pemmaraju, a founding anchor for Fox News, is being remembered as “an incredibly talented journalist” by colleagues and former co-workers after her death this week at the age of 64.

“I was so sad to hear. @UmaPemmaraju was a beautiful person inside & out,” former Arkansas governor and Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee tweeted. “Talented and kind. A cherished friend.”

Pemmaraju was at Fox News when it launched on Oct. 7, 1996, anchoring “Fox News Now” and “Fox on Trends.” At the time, she was one of the few Indian American anchors on national television.

“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,” Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said in a statement to Fox News on Tuesday. “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,”

According to the Boston Globe, Pemmaraju was 6 years old when her family moved from Rajahmundry, India, to San Antonio where they were one of the few Indian families. The family relocated after her father, a researcher who specialized in birth control, was asked to direct a new program for population studies in Texas.

Pemmaraju began her journalism career with the San Antonio Express-News newspaper while attending Trinity University in San Antonio as a political science major.

 

After college, she anchored shows for KTVT-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth and WMAR-TV Baltimore, where she won an Emmy for her work, and WBZ-TV in Boston, before landing at Fox News in 1996. She left the network but returned in 2003 as an anchor and fill-in host.

Speaking with the Boston Globe in 1993, Pemmaraju explained what drove her.

“I’m a conduit to help other people,” she said. “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.”

David Wade of WBZ-TV, where Pemmaraju worked from 1992 to 1996, spoke with her family, who told him she was a “‘noble soul and pioneer’ as an Indian Asian American newswoman of prominence.”

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