Longtime Atlanta Anchor Dies of Lung Cancer

By Andrew Gauthier 


Longtime WAGA-TV anchor Jim Axel died Saturday of cancer. He was 75-years-old.

Axel found out he had lung cancer on his 71st birthday. He fought a tenacious battle with the disease. A little over a week ago, he decided to forego further chemotherapy when his doctor said it would not help him. He died in hospice care in Florida.

“It was time. It was time,” said one of his three sons, Jeff Axel.

Axel had a long and distinguished career at WAGA-TV. He was with the station from the turbulent 1960’s well into the 1990’s. He reported on a wide variety of stories both from the anchor desk and from overseas. Jim traveled to Washington when Jimmy Carter left the White House and then flew on to West Germany when Americans taken hostage by Iran were finally freed after 444 days in captivity.

James Frederick Axel was born on October 31, 1934 in Grand Haven, Michigan. He was named for his father, who came to America from Denmark and died while serving in the Coast Guard. More…