Pat Harper, an award-winning journalist and former television anchorwoman, died Saturday of a heart attack at her retirement home in Capiliera, Spain. She was 59.

Harper began her broadcast career at New York City’s WPIX-TV in 1974, where she won two local Emmy awards. WPIX’s news shows are carried in many cable markets around the country, and Harper became the first woman anchor of an independent national news broadcast in 1980 when she anchored the channel’s syndicated show “USA Tonight,” said WPIX-TV executive producer Karen Scott.

Harper moved to WNBC-TV as co-anchor of the 6 p.m. news in 1984.

She retired and moved to Spain in 1990.

During her tenure, WNBC won five successive Emmys for outstanding single newscast from 1984-89.

Harper is survived by two sons, a daughter and five grandchildren.

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