Jim Vance entertained and informed Washington viewers as one of the leading news anchors in the region for Washington NBC news station, WRC-TV. The legendary and ultra-cool newsman died over the weekend after a public and brave battle with cancer.
James Howard Vance III was born January 10, 1942 and raised in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia. The Cheyney University graduate left the school with a degree in secondary education, and was a classmate of legendary journalist Ed Bradley. While teaching in the Philadelphia metro region, Vance worked part-time as a journalist and received his first break with the now-defunct WKBS-TV.
In 1969, WRC-TV hired Vance as one of its reporters and he rose to the role of anchor in 1972, making him one of a few Black anchors on air at the time. According to reports, the station received a bit of racist hate mail but Vance continued with the job. In the late ’70’s alongside Sue Simmons, Vance became part of one of the first all-Black news teams in the nation.
For over 30 years, Vance co-anchored the night news desk with Doreen Gentlzer and was one of the longest-running news anchor teams in the country. Their news coverage was among the highest-rated shows in the region in their 11 PM ET time slot.
Back in May, Vance revealed that he was combating cancer but had no intention of slowing down his work. At the world famous Ben’s Chili Bowl earlier this year, a mural was unveiled featuring his image and he was there to address the crowd.
Vance was also known outside the region, this after a now-viral clip of him and late sports anchor George Michael laughing uncontrollably at a tumbling model at Paris Fashion Week began circulating online. Vance was also known for wearing an earring in his ear and wearing full facial air while on air, and his measured delivery.
The 19-time Emmy Award winner is survived by his wife Kathy McCampbell Vance, two daughters, one son, and three grandchildren.
Vance was 75.
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