Marlene Sanders Biography

Journalist, News Anchor, Television Producer (1931–)
Journalist Marlene Sanders was both the first woman to anchor a nightly network newscast and the first female field correspondent in the Vietnam War.


Born in Ohio in 1931, Marlene Sanders broke new ground for female journalists with a number of admirable achievements. She was the first female field correspondent in the Vietnam War for ABC News and later became first woman to anchor a nightly network newscast. She went on to become a producer and author.


Television reporter, producer, author. Born on January 10, 1931, in Cleveland, Ohio. Marlene Sanders became the first female journalist to cover the Vietnam War as a field correspondent. She also broke new ground in the studio as well, serving as the first woman to anchor a network nightly newscast.

In the late 1950s, Sanders worked with journalist Mike Wallace as his producer at WNEW in New York. She became the assistant director of news at WNEW Radio in the early 1960s. In 1964, Sanders joined ABC News, where she became the first female field correspondent reporting on the Vietnam War. She also became the first woman to anchor an evening news broadcast for a major network after the regular anchor took ill and later served as a substitute anchor for Sam Donaldson.

Sanders also produced award-winning documentaries for the network. In 1978, she left ABC to join CBS News, where she served as a correspondent and documentary producer. Sanders co-authored a book about her industry, Waiting for Prime Time: The Women of Television News (1994). Over the years, she has received many accolades for her work, including three Emmy Awards.

Her son, Jeffrey Toobin, is also a highly regarded journalist, lawyer, and author.

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