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Philadelphia's First Black TV Reporter Trudy Haynes Passes Away At Age 95

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The CBS3 family has lost one of our own. Former Eyewitness News reporter Trudy Haynes has died. She was 95 years old. She was beloved by all of us. Trudy was a trailblazer in the journalism industry and a longtime fixture at CBS3, where she worked for more than 30 years.

Haynes transformed the face of the news industry when she became Philadelphia's first Black TV reporter. Now, we celebrate her life and all that she meant to us and the legacy she leaves behind.

Haynes was the definition of class and grace and our very own legend here at Eyewitness News. She was kind, humble, witty and known for always being a firecracker.

During Black History month in 2021, Haynes spoke with CBS3's Janelle Burrell about her career.

When asked when she realized she was an example for so many women behind her she told Burrell, "When I found out they wanted my job, and a lot of women wanted my job."

She says getting into the business was an accident that started with her introducing herself to a news manager, scouting for talent. It was 1963 when Haynes got her first TV gig as the first Black weather reporter at a station in Detroit.

Haynes joined Eyewitness News in 1965, becoming the first Black TV reporter in Philadelphia. At times, she faced sexism and discrimination, but she always rose above it, and she gained their respect.

Haynes quickly became a standout, interviewing the likes of Martin Luther King, President Lyndon Johnson and Muhammed Ali. She truly made a name for herself despite the racism and sexism she faced as a Black woman in the industry.

"It was scarce, I was scarce. I was scarce at that time," Haynes said. "It was challenging, but it was a pleasant challenge."

She was always quick to give advice.

"You can, and maybe you don't do the best maybe you're not first, but you can do it. That's the thing you have to have in your heart," Haynes said.

For those who knew her and loved her, it is her spirit that we'll miss most. Trudy Haynes, a pioneer, an inspiration, and our friend.

She was 95 years old.

Janelle Burrell says over the last few years she's gotten to "know and love" Ms. Trudy. She recently spoke to her and Haynes told her they still needed to get together for a drink to celebrate her birthday.

CBS3 is partnered with the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists to award the annual Trudy Haynes Scholarship to a college student pursuing a career in journalism or communications.

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