Uma Pemmaraju, a popular TV news anchor and reporter in Boston in the 1990s, has died, according to her former employer, WBZ-TV.
Pemmaraju worked at WBZ-TV Channel 4 from 1992 to 1996 and then went on to work for Fox News and Bloomberg News, the station reported Tuesday.
In a 1993 interview with the Globe, Pemmaraju explained how she tried to focus her reporting on stories about the disenfranchised.
“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.”
Pemmaraju was born in India and moved to San Antonio with her parents when she was 6 years old, the Globe reported in 1993. She said her interest in journalism started early: Her grandfather was a newspaper publisher, and when she was a kid, she kept a diary in which she wrote about world news that she saw on television.
In her teenage years and during college she worked for a local newspaper and television station, and then went on to become a reporter in Dallas and Baltimore, winning a local Emmy in Baltimore for a report about the rescue of a child who nearly drowned, the Globe reported.
Another memorable moment in her career happened in Boston in 1990, when she was preparing to shoot an “Evening Magazine” feature story in Star Market in Brighton and two masked men ran into the store, ordered everyone to freeze and robbed a cashier.
“I’ve been sent out to crime locations before, but this was the first time one came to me,” she told the Globe at the time.
Pemmaraju first joined the Fox News Channel in 1996 as the host of “Fox News Now” and then returned in 2003 as a news update anchor and substitute host for various programs, according to her biography on the Fox News website. During her time there, Pemmaraju anchored “The Fox Report” and interviewed many high-profile newsmakers, including the Dalai Lama.
Suzanne Scott, chief executive officer of FOX News Media, said Pemmaraju was one of FOX News Channel’s founding anchors.
“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,” Scott said in a statement. “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.”
WBZ-TV reported the news of her death on Tuesday. She was 64 years old.
Another sad passing for WBZ.— David Wade (@davidwade) August 8, 2022
Former Channel 4 anchor and reporter Uma Pemmaraju has passed away.
After leaving WBZ, she went on to be a national news anchor.
Her family tells me she was a “noble soul and pioneer” as an Indian Asian American news woman of prominence. #WBZ pic.twitter.com/FrW7o17p2A