San Diego broadcasting pioneer Gloria Penner died Saturday at the age of 81.
Penner – a fixture on KPBS for 43 years – passed away after losing her year-long battle with cancer.
The trailblazing political correspondent started at KPBS in 1969 and interviewed everyone from governors and members of congress to local leaders both on radio and television.
She hosted the Roundtable on “KPBS Midday Edition” through this past July.
“It's not only a loss to all of us at KPBS, it's a loss to the community because for those 43 years she's been the premier political news correspondent in San Diego,” KPBS general manager Tom Karlo told NBC 7 Saturday.
“KPBS would not be the same today if it wasn’t for the contributions of Gloria Penner. Gloria was among the first staff during the formative years of KPBS. She has been an integral part of KPBS’ growth and change through the decades. We will miss her dearly,” Karlo added in a statement.
During her long career at KPBS, Penner held many different positions. She started as director of community relations before becoming a writer, editor, producer, host, public affairs director, blogger and political correspondent.
Penner received many accolades and awards during her career, including seven Emmys, five Golden Mikes and two Gracies.
The League of Women Voters established the Gloria Penner award for Civil Service in 2003, and she was the first recipient.
Penner was laid to rest at a private service Sunday at El Camino Real Cemetery. A public celebration of her life and achievements will be held at a later date.