Who Is David Brinkley? A Look into His Wife, Children, Networth, and the Cause Behind His Death

Prabin Singh Thakuri

David Brinkley

David McClure Brinkley, famous as David Brinkley, an American newscaster working for the renowned NBC and ABC, married twice before he died in 2003. He first wedded his wife, Former Ann Fischer, and later with Susan Melanie Benfer, with whom he was together until his death.

He wedded Benfer the same year he got divorced from his first wife. Along with both, he had four children, three sons and a daughter. His sons Alan Brinkley and Joel Brinkley were famous personalities with global fame as late historians and journalism professors.

In the following sections, we will discuss the age, the reason behind his death, family, wives, children, and overall career. Please keep reading to discover his life achievements and controversies.

Quick Facts

Full NameDavid McClure Brinkley
Popular AsDavid Brinkley
ProfessionTelevision news anchor
Date of BirthJuly 10, 1920
BirthplaceWilmington, North Carolina, United States
Date of deathJune 11, 2003
Age during death82 years
Buried atOakdale Cemetery
Reason of deathFall at own residence leading to several complications
ParentsWilliam Graham Brinkley and Mary MacDonald
First WifeFlora Ann Fischer
Children Three sons
Second WifeSusan Melanie Benfer
ChildrenA daughter

Exploring the Birth of David Brinkley: Birthplace, Year, and Locality

According to Wikipedia, Brinkley was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, United States, on July 10, 1920. He was the youngest of all his siblings; as such, he gained much love and attention since the early days.

Boron on July, Brinley was a cancer by the zodiac sign. As Cancer, men are described with features such as supportive, sentimental, family-oriented, and loyal; Brinkley exhibited the following traits throughout his life.

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How old was David Brinkley when he died? What is the cause of his death? Date of Death?

Brinley died at the age of 82 years at his residence in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Houston. According to the statement by his son John Brinkley, the reason behind the death was his fall on his house.

This fall resulted in severe complications, resulting in the demise of this famous figure. Several personalities mourned his death, and his physical body was buried in the Oakdale Cemetery, North Carolina, reports the Newyork Times.

David Brinkley’s Parents, Family, and Siblings

Brinkley was born to his American parents, William Graham Brinkley and Mary MacDonald. He was the youngest child of his parents, as he had four other siblings above him. Besides this, there are no significant details on his early family.

The details, such as his parent’s profession, the siblings’ names, where they reside now, and such, will be updated later on being available. Please move forward to the later sections for now.

According to celebsanswers.com, Douglas Brinkley and David Brinkley are unrelated. Even though they share the same surname, they are not blood-related; the surname is the only thing they have in common.

Moreover, Douglas Brinkley and David Brinkley have a significant age difference of 40 years, as the former was born in 1960, and the latter in 1920.

The confusion arose as the profession they were in was somehow similar as David Brinkley was a news and television personality who later shifted towards writing, renowned as a writer too, while Douglas was a prominent writer initially who roamed the television sector with his involvements in CNN as a commentator later.

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David Brinkley’s Early Life: High School, College and Education

Brinkley began his career in the early days. He started writing while in his high school, New Hanover High School. During that period, he wrote for the local newspaper line Wilmington Morning Star.

Late American newscaster and writer David Brinkley (Source: Wikipedia)
Late American newscaster and writer David Brinkley (Source: Wikipedia)

Writing for Wilmington, he somehow has the basics and outstretch of his career path. Still, his engagement in his career was halted by his academics as he attended the University of North Carolina, Emory University, and Vanderbilt University. His major has not been made public yet.

Later, after high school and university, he joined the military service in the United States Army in 1940. After enrolling, it proved a gateway to his career path as he worked for United Press International in the Southern bureau. After this, his career flourished, which will be discussed later in the career section.

Explore the career of David Brinkley: How famous was he?

By 1943, Brinkley had left North Carolina and traveled to Washington, DC, to look for a job opportunity at CBS News on air. He, however, ended up working with NBC News as a white house correspondent before being hosted on television.

He began his career as a national affairs journalist in the channel’s News in a flash segment of the evening television news, the Camel News Caravan, in 1952 while on NBC. He joined his boss, NBC, in 1952 as host of the Hour Glass show, at which time Dave wrote, acted, played piano, and sang while also serving as his announcer and narrator.

Later, in 1956, after the show The Twosome’s famous night send-off, “Good Night, Chet” and “Good Night, David!” established them as icons of the small screen, the program retained its supremacy in American TV news until the later half of the sixties when the CBS Evening News took it over, anchored by the popular Walter Cronkite.

When Chet Huntley retired in 1970, Brinkley continued leading the evening news program, which had been named NBC Nightly News. Later, in 1971, Brinkley became the program’s commentator; he pronounced his versions as David Brinkley’s Journal. During his time on NBC after Huntley’s departure, Brinkley co-anchored with John Chancellor and Frank McGee.

Nevertheless, the viewership never reached the audience attained by the Huntley-Brinkley Report. Brinkley departed NBC in 1981 and moved to ABC, where he anchored This Week with David Brinkley.

The ground-breaking format of the program proved extremely popular with viewers at weekends and was widely emulated. Brinkley also returned briefly to the anchor desk at ABC when Reynolds fell sick and could not anchor during that time.

David Brinkley’s journalism won him many awards, like many Emmy Awards and a Peabody award. He got the Paul White Award, which is honorary, and joined the Television Hall of Fame; he also got the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President George H. W. Bush. 

His work as a Reporter/ Commentator had a lasting effect on Journalism. In 1997, Brinkley closed the television chapter of his great career journalists and continued his march on writing.

Amidst all his writing, his three works got popular hits: Washington Goes to War, David Brinkley, and Everyone is Entitled to My Opinion. Washington Goes to War was about World War II, his personal experience, and its impact on the nation, which became his best seller in 1988.

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Was David Brinkley Married? A look into his Wife, Children, and Family

Brinley was married to his first wife, Flora Ann Fischer, in 1946, with whom he had three sons: Alan Brinkley, John Brinkley, and Joel Brinkley.

The duo separated after 26 years of marriage as they divorced in 1972; the same year, Brinkley tied the knot with his second wife, Susan Melanie Benfer.

Benfer had a daughter from her past relationship named Alexis. Binkley considered her his daughter and provided the similar fatherly love he gave to his sons.

Renowned American News personnel died at the age of 82 years at his own residence. (Source: Pinterest)

Renowned American News personnel died at the age of 82 years at his residence. (Source: Pinterest)

Talking about his sons, Brinkly had quite an accomplished son as his two sons, Alan Brinkley, and Joel Brinkley, were the historian, former Columbia University provost, journalism professor, and Pulitzer Prize–winning writer, respectively.

A look into the fortune of David Brinkley: Networth, Income Source

According to IdolNetworth, Brinkley was holding a considerable fortune, a net worth of $2 million. His involvement in the Television sector as a news reporter and writer was the source of his income.

In the meantime, he was a renowned figure in his career, along with his collaborations with the famous Chet Huntley. This gave him significant wealth and fame.

Not just money-wise, Brinkley was rich in awards too, as he was the holder of the renowned Emmy Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He won Emmy Awards ten times, which is great to achieve.

Davide Brinkley’s social life before the demise: Departure of the great soul

As Brinkley is not with us now, there is no place to talk about his current presence, but before his demise, he was the idol figure of many personalities. He had gained popularity through his career as a news personality and writer.

He has not been forgotten after his demise in 2003, as there is much talk on the internet regarding his professional achievements. His fans, family, and followers still appreciate him for his work.

Final words

Though Brinkley has already been a setting sun and is not with us physically, his work is still in our hearts, which will remain the same for eternity.

His works, especially his books, are art pieces engraved within our souls forever. He will always be in our minds and hearts. May the departed soul rest in peace.

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