CHICAGO'S WGN-TV is mourning one of their own after a former 21-year anchor passed away.
Allison Payne passed away on September 1. She was 57-years-old.
Who was WGN-TV anchor Allison Payne?
Michigan native Payne got her start at WGN-TV in 1990 at the age of 25.
According to the outlet, Payne covered numerous top stories across the globe, including "tracing former President Barack Obama’s roots in Kenya and traveling to the Ivory Coast alongside the Rev. Jesse Jackson."
During her 21 year tenure at WGN, she won nine Emmys, co-anchored both the station’s primetime newscast and the midday news show.
Per WGN-TV, Payne played "an active role in the community by mentoring students and eventually establishing a foundation for students looking to enter the journalism field."
The Detroit native parted ways with WGN in September 2011 to return to Detroit.
How did she die?
After returning to Detroit in 2011, Payne began experiencing a series of health issues.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Payne took a medical leave of absence in 2008 after a series of mini-strokes and bouts of depression.
“It was brutal getting out of the house, I couldn’t get out of bed,” she told the outlet.
Her cause of death has not been revealed.
What are people saying about her death?
Tributes quickly poured in for Payne on social media.
WGN producer Vicky Baftiri tweeted: “I’m heartbroken. Allison Payne was my TV godmother, my mentor, my beloved friend.
"I wish I could’ve saved her like she protected me when I first started this crazy career. She was fiercely smart, beautiful, generous.”
Chicago Tribune reporter Rick Pearson wrote: "This is a severe loss for Chicago journalism. Allison was my friend. We respected each other, she helped inform me about the Black community.
"We cohosted a governor’s debate. We shared good times and bad times and just spoke about a month ago. This hurts."
WGN weather producer Bill Snyder shared: "I'm so sad to hear about the passing of former WGN news anchor Allison Payne.
"I worked with her for several years, she was a kind, beautiful soul who co-anchored the news for 21 yrs and earned 9 emmy awards. RIP sweet friend."
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