Veteran CNN reporter John Holliman, who won fame and critical kudos for his on-scene reports from Baghdad during the Gulf War, died Saturday in a car accident outside Atlanta. He was 49.
Holliman’s death came just weeks before he was to have realized a long-held dream: covering a space mission with former CBS newsman Walter Cronkite. The two were to have co-anchored the cabler’s coverage of Sen. John Glenn’s return to space late next month.
“I expect he’ll be up there watching the mission from the heavens, probably shouting, ‘Holy cow, what a sight!’ ” said CNN News Group chairman Tom Johnson, who described Holliman as “one of a kind — a CNN original. He was simply one of the most loved members of the CNN family.”
While Holliman reported on everything from the space program to the 1989 student revolt in Tiananmen Square, he became famous for his coverage of Allied air raids on Baghdad at the start of the Gulf War.Holliman joined CNN in early 1980 and was the first correspondent hired for the network’s Washington bureau. Before that, Holliman was an agricultural editor for the Associated Press.
He is survived by his wife Diane, a son, Jay, mother Arva Tolbert Holliman, and brother Max Tolbert Holliman. No funeral plans were released.
(Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.)