McWethy, Former ABC Correspondent, Dead at 61

Feb 7, 2008  •  Post A Comment

John McWethy, the longtime ABC News national security correspondent, died Wednesday. He was 61.
Mr. McWethy, who had retired in 2003 and moved to Boulder, Colo., because of his love for skiing and golf, died in an accident on the ski slopes in Keystone, Colo. A report on ABCNews.com said he had missed a turn on an intermediate trail and hit a tree chest-first.
“Good Morning America” co-anchor Diane Sawyer said Thursday morning on-air that Roone Arledge had hired Mr. McWethy after watching him ask a question at a presidential press conference when the correspondent was covering the White House for U.S. News & World Report.
Mr. McWethy was hired as chief Pentagon correspondent in 1979. He retired in 2003 after having earned at least five Emmys and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, an Overseas Press Club Award and other honors.
“He was one of those very rare reporters who knew his beat better than anyone and had developed more sources than anyone and yet kept his objectivity,” ABC News President David Westin said in an internal e-mail. “Jack’s work made the people he covered value him, respect him and always know that he would keep them honest.”
Mr. Westin praised Mr. McWethy’s reporting on Sept. 11, 2001, when he had to evacuate the Pentagon and continued to report live from the lawn nearby.
“As fine a reporter as he was, he was just that fine a man,” Mr. Westin said. “There was an essential goodness to him that permeated everything he did.”
(Editor: Baumann)

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