Remembered for anchoring New York's weekend edition of NBC Nightly News and for hosting the PBS news program Frontline, she is particularly notable as the first female anchor of a nationally-broadcast weekend news program.
After graduating from Ithaca College in New York, she worked briefly for Houston's KHOU-TV channel and for New York's WCBS-AM radio station.
Tragically, she died in her mid-thirties as the result of a single-vehicle car accident that also killed New York Post executive Martin Fischbein.
The child of Florence Goldberger and David Savitch, she spent her childhood in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In the early 1980s, she was briefly married to Mel Korn, followed by Donald Payne.
She was portrayed by Sela Ward in the Lifetime movie Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story.