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Washingtontonians go to the polls for a special election for open at-large seat on the DC council in Washington, DC.

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

Bruce Johnson, a longtime Washington, D.C. news anchor of WUSA9, died at the age of 71 on Sunday.

Johnson anchored the news for 44 years before retiring in 2020, winning 22 Emmys. Johnson was also a  member of the Society of Professional Journalists Hall of Fame, the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame at the University of Kentucky.

The legendary journalist retired in December 2020 after taking a hiatus in 2018 after announcing he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The unfortunate passing was announced on facebook from his wife Lori and it was confirmed that Bruce Johnson died of heart failure, according to WUSA9.

“Bruce Johnson was a giant of DC journalism, a father, grandfather, husband, & proud author,” Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) tweeted Sunday night. “Like many Washingtonians, he’s been a part of my life since I was a little girl, delivering the news and giving voice to DC residents. I’m heartbroken. Rest in Heaven.”

Johnson is survived by his wife, Lori three children — Brandon, Kurshanna and Carolyn — and three grandsons.


Richard Dyer, General Manager and Station President at WUSA9 released the following statement:

The entire WUSA9 is deeply saddened at the sudden loss of our long-time colleague, mentor and friend, Bruce Johnson. For 44 years, from 1976-2020 Bruce was the Dean of local reporters in the Nation’s Capitol. He uniquely fulfilled his noble calling to hold local officials accountable while also serving our community through a deep passion to amplify the stories of those often unheard. He also fearlessly shared his own health challenges to benefit and save countless lives.

We were so fortunate to know Bruce in two ways; On Script as a professional and Off-Script as a mentor and friend who always shared and cared from the heart.

Since closing out his career at WUSA9 in December 2020, Bruce was literally opening new chapters in his life. His just-released memoir, “Surviving Deep Waters” revealed so many new revelations about why he possessed the incredible resilience that we all saw firsthand; highlighted by his surviving a heart attack and beating cancer.

We are collectively grieving Bruce’s loss along with his wife, Lori and their entire family. We ultimately know that our tears will slowly transition to the great memories of how Bruce touched our lives. He was living his best life until his final day and has left us all a great legacy to live each day we’re blessed with to the fullest.

We look forward to celebrating his life and legacy as plans are finalized.