Bruce Johnson, who anchored the news on CBS affiliate WUSA9 for 44 years, died on Sunday, according to his wife. He was 71.
The Channel 9 news anchor was remembered for his decades of dedicated service as a Washingtonian with a wide impact on the D.C. area.
Bruce Johnson was a giant of DC journalism, a father, grandfather, husband, & proud author. 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. pic.twitter.com/Z9FgHcMXbv
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) April 4, 2022
The anchor, who announced his retirement from WUSA9 roughly two years ago, completed a bachelor’s and master’s degree before landing at what was then WTOP-TV. He was only 25. He shared a cancer diagnosis just two years prior to retiring from his show Off Script with Bruce Johnson.
“I didn’t think this would last,” he told WUSA9. “I didn’t see anybody who looked like me and talked like me in Cincinnati and in the business, and not many on the networks.”
From that point, he went on to cover D.C. politics, earning two shows on the station with his namesake. Johnson also went on to write two seminal texts on D.C. drug kingpin Rayful Edmond and former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry.
I can’t believe we’ve lost my friend and former co-worker Bruce Johnson.
He inspired everyone around him to reach farther and push harder.
Bruce leaves behind an incredible roadmap on how to excel as a reporter. @wusa9
Take a look back at his career ⤵️https://t.co/d6fK2mYHg7 pic.twitter.com/zFpcM9bUwG
— Adam Longo (@adamlongoTV) April 4, 2022
The lauded anchor has since earned several awards, including acclaim from the Board of Governors of the National Capital Chesapeake Bureau of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Johnson has been inducted into the Society of Professional Journalists Hall of Fame, the Washington D.C. Hall of Fame, and is a member of the National Press Club, The National Association of Black Journalists and a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
The announcement of his death comes just days before he and Washington Post journalist Courtland Milloy were expected to discuss Johnson’s new memoir “Surviving Deep Waters” with the D.C. public library.
Johnson’s cause of death has not been released.