Trudy Haynes, 95, a broadcast journalism pioneer whose trailblazing work as Philadelphia’s first Black television reporter transformed the news industry, died Tuesday.

Ms. Haynes — born Gertrude Daniels but known affectionately as “Miss Trudy” to many — began her more than three-decade TV news career in 1963 as the nation’s first Black weather reporter in Detroit, where she sought out a harder news reporting job, raising her hand for interview assignments.

“They didn’t send women out on these tough roles. I volunteered for some of them, and I got some of them,” Ms. Haynes told CBS3′s Janelle Burrell last year.

She was quickly recruited to Philadelphia’s KYW-TV — the station that later became CBS3 Eyewitness News — in 1965, becoming the first Black television reporter in the city. In the face of sexism and discrimination, Ms. Haynes became a trusted reporter, host, and local personality, and told the day-to-day stories of Black Philadelphians — a community then covered “very little” outside of tragedy by an all-white newsroom — she told The Inquirer’s Layla A. Jones earlier this year.

“When I went out on the story, I did what I thought the story should be about. And I made a point when they were edited to include whatever our brown story was,” Ms. Haynes said in an Inquirer interview. “We needed to tell our own stories about our own people.”

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Revered as a determined journalist with a sharp wit and warm personality, Ms. Haynes interviewed the likes of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President Lyndon Johnson, Bette Midler, Muhammad Ali, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Tupac Shakur during her career.

At Eyewitness News, she won an Emmy in 1995, two lifetime achievement awards, as well as honors from the NAACP and United Way and a plethora of other recognitions. She was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia’s Hall of Fame in 1999. She also hosted “Trudy’s Grapevine,” a celebrity gossip segment.

Sarah Glover, former president of the National Association of Black Journalists who previously worked as a photographer for The Inquirer and Daily News, called Ms. Haynes an “icon for Black and brown female journalists.”

“She broke barriers with a smile,” Glover said. “She was a classy and consummate role model and she encouraged journalists like me to shed a light.”

The last time she saw Ms. Haynes — at a going-away party last summer — Glover said the TV icon gave her a piece of advice she’ll always remember: “Go out there and raise hell.”

Prior to her time on television, Ms. Haynes — a New York native and Howard University graduate — began her career as an advertisement model and was the first African American poster model for Lucky Strike cigarettes. She spent seven years at a radio station in Inkster, Mich., where she started as a receptionist and became editor of a daily program for women.

Ms. Haynes retired from KYW in 1999 but remained busy and dedicated to promoting the careers of young journalists. Until the coronavirus pandemic, she hosted a weekly public access talk show on PhillyCAM, The Trudy Haynes Show. In 2020, Ms. Haynes partnered with PhillyCAM to develop the Trudy Haynes Reporting Fellowship, which provides resources and coaching for radio and television reporting. Earlier this year, Haynes worked with CBS3 and the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists to create a scholarship in her name for college students pursuing careers in journalism or communications.

Taking younger journalists under her wing was just a part of who Miss Trudy was, said Cherri Gregg, now an on-air host at WHYY.

Gregg said she remembers the first time she heard from Ms. Haynes — when she received a cold call to wish Gregg luck at her new reporting role at KYW around 2011.

“I don’t even know how she got my number,” Gregg said. “But you know, for someone who I saw on the walls of Channel 3 to call me up, unsolicited, and tell me that she knew I was going to be successful — it meant a lot.”

Ms. Haynes would continue to call the younger reporter to check in over the next decade, at times inviting her to her home to chat, and once asking Gregg and her mother to a tea party.

“She was just a magnet … a really positive spirit and a cheerleader and an encourager, and she wanted you to be successful,” Gregg said.

She added that even in retirement, Ms. Haynes was “just always fabulous.”

“I’ve never seen her with her makeup not done. And her hair was always done,” Gregg said. “She was TV-ready at every moment, even at 95 years old.”

Ernest Owens, editor-at-large of Philadelphia Magazine and president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, said he will remember Ms. Haynes as “a lifelong advocate,” with a “true love of journalism” who made a point of studying and connecting with people.

Owens said Ms. Haynes passed peacefully at her home in the city with loved ones nearby and had an active part in making her homegoing arrangements. An exact cause of death was not disclosed, and a funeral date has yet to be set, Owens said.

Owens said he hopes people continue to celebrate and uplift Ms. Haynes’ life and legacy for years to come. “She literally was producing content and giving back in service to the community at large until her last day.”

In a statement Tuesday on Twitter, PABJ remembered Ms. Haynes as “the ultimate game-changer,” writing: “At 95 years old, Trudy lived a life that broke barriers for Black journalists, women, and anyone who dreamed they could make it.”

Ms. Haynes not only made history in Philadelphia, PABJ said, “but ushered in a new generation of diverse journalists in America.”

Staff writer Melanie Burney contributed to this article.