April 21, 2024

Adam Petlin, who joined Fox News weeks after its debut in 1996 and was longtime head of Chicago bureau operations, died on Dec. 23 after a long illness. He was 58.

Petlin was one of the first six field photographers hired for the then-fledging news operation in August 1996. He was quickly promoted to supervisory posts and became part of the core team that built the channel into a cable powerhouse.

Petlin led the first Fox News camera crew to reach the scene at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. His other career highlights included a trip to Antarctica and the South Pole with former Apollo program astronaut Jim Lovell.

“He was an integral part of the field and production team and a gifted still and television photographer,” Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott wrote in a memo to employees sent on Dec. 24. Scott called Petlin “a natural leader” and “a Fox News original.”

“Adam was also highly regarded by numerous correspondents and anchors that were fortunate enough to have been on location with him on nearly every major news story of the last 27 years,” Scott wrote. “When his former boss Sharri Berg and colleague Scott Wilder visited Adam in the hospital last week, he proudly shared photos of his phenomenal career at Fox which took him cross country and to spots all over the world including a trip to Antarctica and the South Pole on assignment with astronaut Jim Lovell.”

Petlin’s survivors include his wife, Lauren, daughter Ava and son Luca.

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