Legendary Journalist and Role Model Bruce Johnson Passed Away at Age 71

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Apr. 5 2022, Published 10:57 a.m. ET

Emmy-award-winning journalist and news anchor Bruce Johnson passed away on April 3, 2022, at age 71. Hailed as the giant of Washington D.C. journalism, he pioneered a people-centered approach and an exemplary work ethic.

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Applauded for his rare ability to give voice to the members of the local community, Bruce became a source of inspiration for many. He authored several books, including Surviving Deep Waters. What happened to Bruce? What's his cause of death?

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Bruce Johnson tragically died in April 2022. Here's what you should know about the tragedy — including the cause of death.

Greatly loved by his colleagues, viewers, and the inhabitants of Washington, D.C., and beyond, Bruce cemented himself as an influential and inspiring journalist, news anchor, and author. He worked as a reporter and anchor for WUSA9 for more than four decades, first joining the channel in 1976. A role model for many, Bruce will long be remembered for his dedication to his craft and incredible kindness.

Bruce's cause of death is heart failure. Bruce suffered a severe heart attack in 1992, at only 42 years old. As part of the recovery process, he partook in the Marine Corps Marathon, a 26.2-mile marathon held every year in Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Va. He wrote the 2009 book, Heart to Heart, to cast light on the stories of heart attack survivors.

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Bruce was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma a few years ago, according to the Washington Post. He took time off work to undergo chemotherapy, announcing his retirement in 2020. Bruce's autobiography, Surviving Deep Waters, came out in February 2022.

A tireless journalist and writer, Bruce was committed to amplifying the voices of everyday people, using his charisma and kindness to elevate his co-workers, interview subjects, and many others.

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"I am so heartbroken. … Bruce Johnson was one of a kind. I’ll miss his beautiful spirit. He was a spectacular journalist who had a huge impact on our community and many journalists. My sincerest condolences to his family. #RIP" tweeted Annie Yu, a news anchor on WUSA9.

Bruce is survived by his wife, Lori Smith-Johnson, three kids, grandkids, and many loving fans.

Bruce is survived by his wife, Lori, his two kids from his first marriage, Brandon and Kurshanna Dean, his stepdaughter, Carolyn Smith, and his grandchildren.

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