Legendary news reporter, sportscaster, and former Miss America Phyllis George died on Friday at the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital. She was 70.
George’s cause of death stemmed from complications due to a blood disorder she contracted in her mid-30s, according to USA Today. Previously married to former Kentucky Governor John Y. Brown, she is survived by her two children, her son, Lincoln Brown, and daughter, Pamela Ashley Brown.
Pamela followed in her mother’s reporting footsteps and is CNN’s senior White House reporter, working alongside network anchors Wolf Blitzer, Don Lemon, and Anderson Cooper. Pamela is married to husband Adam Wright and recently gave birth to a daughter, Viviene on February 10. They welcomed their first child, a son named Benny, in June 2018.
Even though Pamela and Lincoln’s parents divorced after 17 years of marriage in 1996, Geroge and Brown both continued living in Kentucky and remained friendly. “Phyllis was a great asset to Kentucky,” Brown told The Courier Journal on Saturday.”We had a great partnership,” Brown said. “I think we enjoyed every single day.”
Brown said their two kids had been with George in recent weeks providing care and support. “We’re sorry to lose her. She’s been a big part of our lives.”
Pamela Called Herself & George A ‘Mother-Daughter Power Duo’
Pamela and her older brother Lincoln issued an official statement following her mother’s death via The Hollywood Reporter. They said:
For many, Mom was known by her incredible accomplishments as the pioneering female sportscaster, 50th Miss America and first lady. But this was all before we were born and never how we viewed Mom. To us, she was the most incredible mother we could ever ask for, and it is all of the defining qualities the public never saw, especially against the winds of adversity, that symbolize how extraordinary she is more than anything else. The beauty so many recognized on the outside was a mere fraction of her internal beauty, only to be outdone by an unwavering spirit that allowed her to persevere against all the odds.
In 2019, Pamela wished her mother a happy Mother’s Day with a throwback photo on Instagram. She captioned the picture, “Learned how to work the phones from a young age from my momma! @dancinmomma625 #motherdaughterpowerduo.”
Pamela Considers the Constant Comparisons To Her Mother A Compliment
Growing up with a mother as accomplished as George, who was crowned Miss America in 1971, broke barriers as female working on The NFL Today from 1975 to 1984 and co-anchored the CBS Morning News, would be intimidating for many young daughters. But for Pamela, who was born on November 29, 1983, it was inspirational.
In 2016, she discussed with Kentucky.com of her future working with CNN. “I would like to still be in the business and have my own show one day, ” Pamela said, “and still keep up the reporting.”
After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. broadcast journalism, Pamela started out her career working at WJLA-TV, ABC’s affiliate in Washington D.C. and NewsChannel8. In 2013, she was hired at CNN as a correspondent for their morning program, New Day.
When the now senior White House reporter was asked if she ever gets tired of hearing how much she looks like her famous mother, her answer was a simple no. “I think it’s the biggest compliment,” Pamela said. “I’m never tired of it.”