Bob Cain

August 11, 1934September 2, 2014

Bob Cain, Veteran CNN Anchor, 80

Bob Cain, the veteran journalist and CNN anchor who was a fixture on the network in the 1980s and 1990s, died Tuesday, Sept. 2, at home in Atlanta, his family said. He was 80.

Cain joined the network in 1980, shortly after its inception, and retired in 2002. He anchored a variety of morning programs, including CNN Morning News, Daybreak, Week in Review and Newsline, and he was an integral part of the network's coverage of major national and international events, including the Los Angeles earthquake, the Gulf War, numerous elections and summits and the 50th anniversary of D-Day.

He was known for his gravitas and for his old-school journalism ethic, preferring to report and write as much of his own copy as possible; and for his exceptional ad-libbing abilities, often correcting errors in news copy that crossed his desk and doing it so seamlessly that his superiors had no idea his smooth delivery was a mix of teleprompter copy and his own. He never had an agent, preferring instead to negotiate his own contracts. Those who knew him say he held to the idea that his work was its own best management.

Before joining CNN, Cain was an NBC Radio correspondent based in New York City. During his 10 years with NBC, Cain covered major national and local stories, including both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in 1976, the arrest of “Son of Sam,” the resignation of President Nixon, the New York visit of Pope John Paul II and the 1976 power blackouts in New York City.

Born Robert Owen Cain on Aug. 11, 1934, in O'Neill, Nebraska, Cain began his career in 1952 at KSWI-Radio in Council Bluffs, Iowa. His extensive news background includes positions as anchor/reporter for WPRI-TV and WJAR-TV in Providence, R.I.; as newscaster for WHK-Radio, Cleveland, Ohio; and as news director at KOIL-Radio in Omaha, Neb.

Cain's accolades include a 1988 American Bar Association “Silver Gavel Award” for his work on the CNN documentary, “A More Perfect Union"; a 1975 George Peabody Award for his part in “Second Sunday"; a segment of the NBC News Radio series “Communism in the '70s”; a 1972 New York Council of Churches Award for a documentary on poverty in New York; and a 1966 Providence, R.I., Toastmaster's Gavel Award for his controversial radio talk show, “Open Line.”

Cain attended Creighton and Brown universities.

A long-standing member of Alcoholics Anonymous, he was 27 years sober at the end.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and one brother, Frederick Cain.

Cain died at the home he shared with his former wife, Anne Walsh Cain. He is survived by his children; Robert Cain of Las Vegas, Nev.; John Cain of Placentia, Calif.; Julie Cain of Placentia, Calif.; and Stephanie Cain Sherman of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and grandchildren Ryan and Christopher Wratz and Annabelle, Harold, Juliette and Tula Sherman. A funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 1:30 p.m., at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 4465 Northside Drive NW, Sandy Springs, GA. H.M. Patterson & Son–Arlington Chapel is serving the family.


  • A Funeral Mass Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bob Cain

have a memory or condolence to add?

John Brimelow

March 15, 2016

I feel lucky to have known and worked with Bob. He helped me on a number of high profile productions where I needed an expert of his high caliber and professionalism. I'll miss you Bob. Rest in peace.

William Moyers

September 23, 2015

Just today from a former colleague at CNN did I learn that Bob passed away. I lost touch with Bob many years ago. But his rich wisdom, his self-deprecating humor and his generous commitment of time, energy and passion to recovery live on within my own journey from addiction to redemption to this very moment. Bob gave all of himself to me back in 1994, when I was struggling to regain my balance after a relapse while I was working at CNN. It worked. Of all the times we spent together, he helping me and, as fellow travelers know, me helping him, none was more to the point than the day I shared my very darkest secrets with him, those human shortfalls and foibles of imperfection that manifest in our hearts and souls as shame. When I was done disgorging all of me in his presence, he leaned back in his easy chair, took a long drag off of his cigarette and replied, "You too, huh?" It was in that moment I knew I was okay, flaws and on. And to this moment it is that acceptance of myself that has allowed me to stay the course for 21-plus years. Bob lives on in me and so many of us. For that I am forever grateful. -- William Cope Moyers

October 7, 2014

May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.

Ps. 55:22

October 3, 2014

Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.

V Miller

September 29, 2014

May God give your family the comfort and strength they need in there time of sorrow.

September 29, 2014

many memories of a trusted newsman

Mary Anne Loughlin

September 27, 2014

I have been truly blessed to have had such a dear friend, trusted colleague and true partner. We are lucky to have known you. Save the seat next to you for me.


September 23, 2014

May God bless you and your family at the time of sorrow please read 1 Peter; 5,17


September 23, 2014

My condolences go out to the Cain family. It is my hope that the God of comfort sustains you during this time of grief (2 Cor. 1:2,4).

C Morales

September 23, 2014

May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.