George Alagiah, a BBC journalist and newsreader, died at the age of 67.

His agent, Mary Greenham, stated in a statement that he “died peacefully today, surrounded by his family and loved ones.”

“George fought until the bitter end, but the battle was lost earlier today.”

“Everyone who knew George, whether a friend, a colleague, or a member of the public, adored him.”

“He was simply a wonderful human being,” she added. “My thoughts are with Fran, the boys, and the rest of his family.”

“Across the BBC, we are all incredibly saddened to hear the news about George,” said BBC director general Tim Davie. At this moment, we are thinking of his family.

“George was one of the best and bravest journalists of his generation, reporting fearlessly from around the world while also flawlessly presenting the news.”

“He was more than just a great journalist; audiences felt his kindness, empathy, and wonderful humanity.” He was adored by all, and we will all miss him greatly.”

Alagiah has been a regular on British television news for more than three decades, most recently hosting BBC News at Six.

Prior to that, he was an award-winning international correspondent, reporting from Rwanda to Iraq.

He was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2014 and learned that it had spread in October 2022.

In the early 1990s, Alagiah earned accolades for stories on hunger and war in Somalia, and in 1994, he was nominated for a Bafta for chronicling Saddam Hussein’s genocidal assault against Kurds in northern Iraq.

He was also voted Amnesty International’s journalist of the year in 1994 for his coverage of Burundi’s civil war, and he was the first BBC journalist to report on Rwanda’s genocide.

George Maxwell Alagiah was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, but spent his boyhood in Ghana and subsequently England.

His most vivid childhood memory of Sri Lanka is of leaving it. His parents were Christian Tamils, and the country, then known as Ceylon, was riven by ethnic strife.

Donald, his father, was a water distribution and irrigation engineer. He took his small family to Africa in quest of a new and better life after feeling unwelcome and insecure in his own country.

The family flourished at first, but after a coup in Ghana, Alagiah’s parents opted to educate their children in England. His father dropped him off for boarding school in Portsmouth when he was 11 years old; they both had to hold back tears.

His assimilation and change-filled youth shaped his personality and guided his professional judgment.

There was some racism present. There were “Bongo Bongo land” taunts in the showers because he was nearly the only boy of color. He stopped urging people to pronounce his name correctly (his family said it “Uller-hiya”).

“You were almost apologetic if you had a ‘funny name’ back then,” he reflected. The alternative would have been to stand out like a “exotic cactus in a bed of spring meadow plants.”

But, in some ways, his English school, St John’s College, was a closed and unreal society that isolated him from the massive social upheavals taking place outside its gates. Anti-immigrant sentiment in many sections of the country had mostly passed him by.

As he grew older, he considered himself to be the “right kind” of foreigner in a country where “class trumps race every time.”

Later, he went to Durham University, where he met and eventually married Frances Roberthan.

After graduation, he worked at South Magazine for seven years, where he was proud of its editorial line, which depicted an uneven world as unstable.

In 1989, he joined the BBC as a foreign affairs journalist before becoming Africa correspondent, the region of his youth.

It was frequently an upsetting experience. He interviewed child soldiers in Liberia, rape victims in Uganda, and saw famine and disease practically everywhere.

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