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Al Roker mourns death of 'broadcast pioneer' in heartfelt tribute

The Today star paid tribute on social media

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Hanna Fillingham
Hanna FillinghamUS Managing Editor
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Al Roker has paid a touching tribute on Instagram following the death of "broadcast pioneer" Trudy Haynes, who has sadly passed away.

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The Today star shared a series of photos of Trudy from over the years, alongside a touching message.

He wrote: "Broadcast pioneer, Trudy Haynes, passed away this week at the age of 95. First black tv weathercaster at @wxyzdetroit and first black reporter at @cbs_philly , Ms. Haynes interviewed Dr. Martin Luther King and others during a long career."

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Fans were quick to respond to Al's tribute, with one writing: "My heartfelt condolences," while another wrote: "May she rest in peace." A third added: "Thank you Al for recognizing #trudyhaynes. She broke so many barriers for the rest of us."

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Trudy began her career as a model, and became the first black person to appear in an ad for Lucky Strike cigarettes.

After a career in radio in the fifties, she started working in TV at Detroit's WXYZ-TV in 1963, becoming the nation's first black weather reporter. She later became the first black TV journalist in the city while working in Philadelphia at KYW-TV.

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Al Roker paid tribute to the late broadcaster Trudy Haynes

During her lengthy career at the network, she was awarded an Emmy for her work on Eyewitness News.

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She was awarded and honored for her work on many occasions, including membership in the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Hall of Fame and a lifetime achievement award from the National Coalition Of 100 Black Women.

She previously spoke out about her career in a 2021 interview for CBS Philly, saying: "When they say, 'Hey, you’re the first,' that puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders automatically. I've got to be good."

Al himself is an inspiring reporter, and earlier in the year he opened up about his journey to aspiring journalists during a Q&A at Arizona State University.

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Al called Trudy a "broadcast pioneer"

"I've been very fortunate, " he told the students. "There have been a lot of high points, meeting people I never thought I'd get to meet and going places I never thought I'd get to go."

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Al also told the students that he was the first Black forecaster in most of the cities he worked in, and said that his dad had given him the following advice: "One of the things my dad told me early on was, 'You’re going to have to work twice as hard and be twice as good as the white kid next to you.' I've always kind of worked that way."

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