Former WGN-TV anchor Allison Payne has reportedly passed away. She was 57.
A 21-year veteran of the Chicago news station, Payne died in her home on September 1, according to a WGN press release.
Beginning her Chicago anchoring career at just 25 years old, Payne covered a wide range of stories both domestically and worldwide, including tracing former President Barack Obama’s Kenyan roots and traveling with Rev. Jesse Jackson to the Ivory Coast.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better partner than Allison Payne. She had it all … smart, beautiful and inquisitive, but most of all, my friend,” said her former co-anchor, Steve Sanders.
A Detroit native, Payne called the Windy City home for many years and played an active role in the community, WGN reports, who also described her as a mentor. She also established a foundation for journalism students.
“While so many journalists worry about the list of questions they want to ask, she taught me the most important part of an interview is the listening,” said WGN-TV producer Tyra Martin, according to the news station. “That even if you don’t ask the right questions, if you listen well enough, the story will reveal itself.”
It isn’t clear at this time how Allison Payne died. She returned to her native Detroit in September 2011.