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Peter Jennings’ Children Reflect on their Father’s Life and Death

On GMA this morning, ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff talks with Elizabeth Jennings, the daughter of legendary ABC News anchor Peter Jennings. Elizabeth, and her brother Chris, are speaking out now during national lung cancer awareness month. The disease took their father’s life in August, 2005. In the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Jennings, who’d quit a decade earlier, began smoking again. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in April 2005 and died four months later.

In December of that year, Woodruff was paired with Elizabeth Vargas to take over the anchor duties on World News Tonight. Just a few weeks into their pairing, Woodruff was seriously injured in an IED attack in Iraq.

Chris Jennings writes an essay about his father’s fight to quit on ABCNews.com, while his sister talked with Woodruff on today’s “Good Morning America.”

Woodruff: What’s it like to not have your father anymore?

Jennings: Well, the obvious answer is that it’s very difficult. And I sometimes always think that, “maybe, you know, maybe he’ll walk through the door.” Or there are times when you really need a dad’s advice. So you have this dialogue inside. And in my head, he’s still there in a lot of ways.

Woodruff: Given the fact that your father was so well known, do you think that people really woke up about lung cancer because of that?

Jennings: We get stories every once in a while from friends, or friends of friends, or complete strangers about how they quit smoking because of dad, or how they finally became aware of the possibility that if they smoked, they might also get lung cancer because of him.

We’ll post the video when it’s up on ABCNews.com. For now, here’s the transcript.

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