Former NBC News Dallas bureau chief and correspondent Jim Cummins died last night after losing his battle with cancer. In a note to the staff, NBC News president Steve Capus wrote, “Jim and Connie had a vision for life after NBC. A damnable cancer diagnosis came a short time after he left the job, and those plans took a backseat to a courageous battle.”
Click continued to read Capus’ note…
The NBC News family has lost a gentle giant of a man. Veteran NBC correspondent and bureau chief, Jim Cummins died this evening. His beloved wife Connie and their six children were with him as he passed away at the all-too-young age of 62.
It is fitting that Jim had a big family. After all, he spent decades making Americans feel right at home, with his down to earth, warm reporting style, delivery and presence. During a distinguished career with NBC News, Jim covered all kinds of breaking news assignments and memorable features. As Brian Williams recently put it, Jim was the definition of a field correspondent who seemingly covered every story more than once.
Jim was a child of Midwest America, with roots that stretched back to his birthplace in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He loved sports, and made a name for himself on the basketball court at Northwestern University. He earned his B.A. and master’s degrees at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.
Jim began his broadcast career in 1969 at KGLO-TV in Mason City, Iowa. He moved to WOTV in Grand Rapids, Michigan as an anchor and reporter in 1970. Three years later, he joined the NBC station in Milwaukee, WTMJ. Jim’s next leap was to WMAQ-TV in Chicago. That move lead to Jim’s hiring in 1978 as a Chicago-based correspondent for NBC News. In 1989, Jim became our Southwest bureau chief and correspondent, based in Dallas.
What a run Jim had with NBC News. From U.S. political coverage, to plane crashes; from the civil war in El Salvador to countless hurricanes, floods and tornadoes. His reporting led our broadcasts day after day from places like Waco; Killeen; Oklahoma City and Galveston. He earned an Emmy in 1993 for his reporting on the Midwest floods.
I thought of Jim often this week, as so many of our people showcased their brilliant talents covering the California wildfires. This was the kind of coverage that Jim poured himself into for decades.
Jim and Connie had a vision for life after NBC. A damnable cancer diagnosis came a short time after he left the job, and those plans took a backseat to a courageous battle. Tonight, he’s at peace. Jim Cummins was a good man.