Remembering Peter: “I’ve Had Such A Great Life. I’ve Had Such A Good Life,” Jennings Told His Sister When He Fell Ill

By Brian 

On Wednesday night’s “Peter Jennings: Reporter,” Sarah Jennings reflected on her brother’s life.

“He loved what he did. He loved the life he had,” she said. “When he fell ill, the first thing he said to me, he said, ‘I’ve had such a great life. I’ve had such a good life.’ He was a lucky fellow in many ways.”

Quotes about his childhood, smoking habit, family, vacations, and private life after the jump…

> “He was a very high-spirited and mischievous little boy. He was full of sport. He was full of fun. It was always great fun to be in Peter’s wake. If you could, you could hang on, you’d always have a good time.”

> “I can remember absolutely as clear as yesterday that Pete was about 11 and I was eight. And, of course, one of the things to do is to get hold of Granny’s cigarettes and to have a puff. And all he did was say, now, Sarah, all you have to do is breathe in, which of course I did immediately, because I did everything my brother asked me to do. And, of course, had this tremendous coughing fit, and I was traumatized. Pete did become, obviously, heavily addicted to cigarettes and smoked heavily all his life until he had his children, and then he was able to give it up through tremendously strong effort. He used hypnosis and other methods, but he did manage to stop smoking when his children were born.”

> “He loved his family. He was never happier than when his children and his wife Kayce were on a trip together somewhere or having an adventure. Or even just staying home and lying about watching videos, just like normal folks, if I can say.”

> “Peter always took three weeks a year in Canada. And that was the touchstone of his year, I would say. And I always used to joke, the first week he’d come in, he’d be insufferable. The second week he’d be coming down to Earth and he could put on shorts and pull on a pair of wool socks. You know, he loved to canoe, he would go sailing, he would go swimming.”

> “I think the important thing about Peter is while he led this very public life, he did keep his private life private. And he tried as best as he could to live an ordinary private life, you know, have an ordinary or normal, let’s say, family life. Have his children go to school like other people’s children, not to be idolized or adulated just because their father was a big star. So, in a society, which is very heavy on celebrity culture, I think he did his level best to avoid being a celebrity.”

> “I think Peter just loved what he was doing. I think from day one, he had this great passion and enthusiasm for — for radio, for television, for broadcasting, for communicating.”