PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The CBS3 family has lost one of ours. Former Eyewitness News reporter Trudy Haynes has passed away. She was 95 years old. She was loved by all of us. Trudy was a pioneer in the journalism industry and a fixture at CBS3, where she worked for over 30 years.
Haynes changed the face of the news industry when she became Philadelphia’s first black TV reporter. Now we celebrate her life and everything she meant to us and the legacy she leaves behind.
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Haynes was the definition of class and grace and our own legend here at Eyewitness News. She was kind, humble, witty and known for always having a blast.
During Black History Month in 2021, Haynes spoke to CBS3’s Janelle Burrell about her career.
When asked when she realized she was setting an example for so many women behind her, she told Burrell, “When I found out they wanted my job, and a lot of women wanted my job.”
She says her entry into the company was an accident that started when she introduced herself to a news executive, who was looking for talent. It was 1963 when Haynes got her first TV appearance as the first black weather reporter on a Detroit station.
Haynes joined Eyewitness News in 1965, becoming the first black TV reporter in Philadelphia. Sometimes she faced sexism and discrimination, but she always came out on top and won their respect.
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Haynes quickly became a standout, interviewing the likes of Martin Luther King, President Lyndon Johnson and Muhammed Ali. She has really made a name for herself despite the racism and sexism she faced as a black woman in the industry.
“It was scarce, I was scarce. I was scarce at the time,” Haynes said. “It was a challenge, but it was a fun challenge.”
She always gave quick advice.
“You can do it, and you may not try your best, you may not be the first, but you can. That’s what you have to have in your heart,” Haynes said.
For those who knew and loved her, it is her spirit that we will miss the most. Trudy Haynes, a pioneer, an inspirer and our friend.
She was 95 years old.
Janelle Burrell says she has come to know and love Ms. Trudy over the past few years. Speaking to her recently, Haynes told her that they should still get together for drinks to celebrate her birthday.
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CBS3 has partnered with the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists to award the annual Trudy Haynes Scholarship to a student pursuing a career in journalism or communications.