Jack McWethy, 66, of Greencastle, Indiana, Passed Away This Evening
McWethy was a reporter for ABC News, and many in attendance remembered his wry humor and profound emotional depth fondly.
Westin said he had to evacuate the Pentagon after it was hit by an aircraft during the September 11, 2001, attacks but continued reporting from nearby lawns.
Early Life and Education
At an evening ceremony held today in Greencastle, Indiana for veteran ABC News reporter Jack McWethy, guests filed out of a large auditorium and into a spacious foyer where they mingled while snacking on sandwiches and sipping sparkling water. A video tribute showcased Mr. McWethy dodging bullets on Liberian streets while interviewing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld or fighting with producers over two extra seconds of airtime.
Early in the conversation, several members on stage referenced a commencement speech he gave at DePauw University years before. The speech captured something about him that seemed to define his life–alternating flashes of humor with poignantly deep reflection. While he may have been an incredible reporter, he also represented everything that makes humanity great: humanity itself.
Jack McWethy earned great respect during his distinguished tenure at ABC News as national security correspondent from 1992 until his retirement in 2003, for providing valuable coverage of U.S. troops deployed around the globe. He took risks to get the facts straight and earned many accolades as a result.
Westin was forced to flee the Pentagon when a plane crashlanded there during the 2001 terrorist attacks but continued reporting from nearby. Westin described him as one of those rare reporters who knew their beat well while developing multiple sources and remaining impartial, all while maintaining objectivity.
McWethy provided his graduates at DePauw University with what he termed the “McWethy Rules of Life,” from silly advice like not taking both a laxative and sleeping pill at once) to more meaningful advice like not confusing work with life. One rule included always questioning why.
Achievement and Honors
McWethy was one of the most admired and recognized faces on ABC News, serving as its national security correspondent and reporting from five historic meetings between President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Additionally, he traveled widely covering stories out of Liberia, Somalia and Mozambique.
He was an ABC News correspondent from 1979 until 2003 and earned numerous honors and awards for his work. Among them: being at the Pentagon when one of the hijacked planes struck it in September 11 terrorist attacks and reporting from outside on what transpired postmortem.
At his memorial service in Greencastle, a video was played of McWethy in action; dodging bullets on Liberian streets while grilling Secretaries of Defense such as Donald Rumsfeld.
McWethy was an avid skier and loved being outdoors. Married and father of two sons, he lived in Boulder Colorado after retiring from ABC News.
His work as a journalist won him national renown, even among members of the military. He was well known for his integrity as a family man and perspicacity as a reporter – two qualities which earned him graduation from DePauw University.
John McWethy, 61, an ABC News correspondent who reported live from the Pentagon following the 2001 terrorist attacks while fleeing, has died following an accidental skiing incident at Keystone. Witnesses report he missed a turn on an intermediate trail and skied chest-first into a tree before collapsing chest first into another tree, according to Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson’s reports. His death was confirmed immediately at the scene by Summit County coroner Joanne Richardson.
At trial, defendant claimed McWethy persuaded him to get involved with drug dealing by promising money, a new car, and improved living quarters. According to defendant, he finally sold one ounce of cocaine on October 31 and quarter ounces the following two days to McWethy; telling an officer about this practice from within their parents’ horse barn where his stash of coke was being kept cool in an old refrigerator.
On November 13th, defendant claimed he received a telephone call from McWethy telling him they could sell an additional ounce. A hearsay objection to that conversation was upheld; no proof was offered in support. According to court findings, McWethy’s case had already been extended four times due to defendant requesting and State motion respectively.