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TV anchor Ruschell Boone, who spotlighted NYC’s diverse communities, dies of pancreatic cancer at 48

NEW YORK (AP) — Ruschell Boone, an award-winning reporter and anchor for New York City TV station NY1, has died after battling pancreatic cancer over the past year, the station announced Tuesday.

Boone, 48, died Sunday, NY1 said in a news release.

Boone joined the all-news station as a reporter covering the borough of Queens in 2002 and moved to the anchor desk with a noon slot in 2021.

The station, now owned by Charter Communications, said Boone “had a unique ability to connect with New Yorkers — through the screen and in person — in a way that made her feel like a trusted friend.”

A native of Jamaica, Boone was known for her coverage of the city’s diverse immigrant communities.

She reported on big stories like Superstorm Sandy and protests following the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, and she also was a fixture at celebrations including Brooklyn’s annual West Indian American Day parade and the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop.

Boone was the only TV reporter at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Democratic primary election party in June 2018 when the underdog candidate learned from early returns that she was about to upset incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley. “I cannot put this into words,” the soon-to-be Congress member told Boone on live TV.

Boone won several awards over the course of her career, including a New York Press Club award for best feature reporting and a New York Emmy award for her series “New York: Unfiltered.”

After her cancer diagnosis, Boone took a leave from NY1 from June 2022 to March of this year for a grueling series of chemotherapy treatments.

But she announced on social media on July 27 that her cancer had taken a turn for the worse. “Unfortunately, my cancer has metastasized in my liver and I’m back in treatment,” Boone said on X, formerly Twitter. “It’s rough, but the chemo is working.”

She added, “Prayers have carried me through the difficult moments. Thank u for rooting for me.”

Her first interview when she returned to NY1 in March was with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who appeared on the station Tuesday to offer a tribute.

“We are all better people because we had a wonderful, wonderful person who reported to us and showed us that no matter how much pain you have you can turn it in to purpose,” Adams said. “You never saw her frowning. She didn’t say ‘Woe is me.’ She said ‘Why not me. I want to inspire others.’”

Boone’s survivors include her husband, Todd Boone, and two sons.

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