Bob Cain, 80: CNN newsman had ‘love for helping people’

Veteran journalist and CNN anchor Bob Cain had an impact on the lives of many with his gravitas and caring heart.

“He was very aware of the precious nature of life,” said daughter Stephanie Cain Sherman.

Cain joined the network in 1980, shortly after its inception, and retired in 2002.

He was humble and helped build the credibility of CNN as a news network, his former wife Anne Walsh Cain said.

Known for his exceptional ad-libbing abilities and smooth, melodic voice, he anchored a variety of morning programs including “CNN Morning News,” “Daybreak,” “Week in Review” and “Newsline.”

“Seeing dad on TV was totally normal to us,” said daughter Julie Cain. “He had a compassionate wisdom and was my go-to guy when I had a problem.”

Bob Cain, of Atlanta, died Sept. 2 at his home of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 80. A funeral Mass was held Wednesday at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Sandy Springs. H.M. Patterson & Son Arlington Chapel was in charge of arrangements.

Before joining CNN, Cain was an NBC Radio correspondent based in New York City.

A longtime member of Alcoholics Anonymous, he had been sober 27 years at the end and was always looking to help others.

Friend Bill Sanders recalled the numerous occasions Cain would offer meals to those who were homeless yet brave enough to come to the meetings. “He had a real love for helping people; he lived to do that,” Sanders said.

“Dad did a great job growing as a human being, he grew in a great way, generous and kind-hearted,” said son John Cain.

In his free time Cain read the dictionary. Fascinated by words, he had a deep knowledge of many topics.

“He never wanted to be known only for his voice, he worked hard to be an original breed of journalist and did his own reporting,” Sherman said.

Throughout his career Cain covered stories including the resignation of President Nixon, the 1976 blackout in New York City, the Gulf War and the 50th anniversary of D-Day.

His accolades include a 1988 American Bar Association Silver Gavel award, a 1975 George Peabody award, a 1972 New York Council of Churches award and a 1966 Providence, R.I., Toastmaster’s Gavel award.

In addition to his son and two daughters Cain is survived by son Robert Cain of Las Vegas and six grandchildren.

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