Gloria Rojas: Former Eyewitness News reporter, New York’s first Latina TV reporter, dies

Former Eyewitness News reporter Gloria Rojas, New York’s first Latina reporter, has died aged 82.

Rojas died Wednesday at a nursing facility in Cambridge, Maryland.

She made her Channel 7 debut in September 1974 and remained with the station until January 1986.

A pragmatic and resourceful journalist, Rojas has distinguished herself for her sympathetic and concerned handling of stories, winning numerous community and broadcast awards.

His subject matter was broad, dealing with politics, poverty, human interest and more. She also produced numerous special reports and a documentary examining whether Puerto Rico should remain an American Commonwealth or become an independent state or nation.

“The big stories aren’t always the most satisfying. It’s the little stories where you can really make a difference,” Rojas told WABC-TV in the early 1980s for a career news release.

In January 1980, Rojas was elevated to lead New Jersey news coverage, covering issues such as the state’s dramatic drought, toxic waste issues, and the role of women in New Jersey politics.

Rojas was a New York native who grew up in the Bronx and graduated from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Before coming to Channel 7, Rojas worked at WABC-TV’s sister station, WLS-TV Channel 7 in Chicago, as well as WNEW-TV Channel 5, working on the “Midday Live” show. Prior to that, she worked at WCBS-TV Channel 2 and WNDT-TV Channel 13, the former name of WNET, the public broadcasting station. His program on the educational station taught English as a second language. Previously, she had been an elementary and middle school teacher.

Rojas also achieved one of his life goals by publishing a book, “Fire Escapes: A Fictional Memoir”.

“Fire Escapes is titled ‘A Fictional Memoir’ for good reason. Considering her own life in her youth to be quite conventional, in Fire Escapes she reinvents herself as ‘Justine Trinidad’, whose mother died in childbirth and was raised in poverty by a resentful grandmother. In this book, Justine looks back on her troubled, motherless youth while working in a newsroom as a broadcast journalist. Rojas brings it all together as a interesting mix of an imaginary life and vignettes taken from real events,” according to a description of his book on Amazon.com.

Gloria Rojas was a role model for many of us and we mourn her passing.

Watch the video below to see some of Rojas’ reporting for Eyewitness News.

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