Ruschell Boone, an Emmy Award-winning journalist for New York City TV station NY1, died Sept. 3 from pancreatic cancer, the station announced Sept. 5. She was 48.
Boone, who learned of her diagnosis in June 2022, was born and raised in Jamaica before she moved to New York City when she was 11. A graduate of the city’s Baruch College, Boone started at NY1 in 2002, covering the Queens borough and “dedicating herself to issues that directly affected residents,” the station said.
“Ruschell had a unique ability to connect with New Yorkers — through the screen and in person — in a way that made her feel like a trusted friend,” it added.
Boone was a decorated reporter, winning several awards, including best spot news reporting from the New York Association of Black Journalists, a New York Press Club Award for best feature reporting and a New York Emmy Award for her series “New York: Unfiltered.”
Boone, who would post updates about her cancer treatment on social media, became an anchor on NY1’s noon newscast “News All Day” in 2021 and stepped aside from her job after her diagnosis, only to later return to the anchor desk this past March. In July of this year, she announced on X, formerly Twitter, that her cancer had gotten worse.
“I’m very touched by all who reached out to see how I’m doing,” she wrote. “Unfortunately, my cancer has metastasized in my liver and I’m back in treatment. It’s rough, but the chemo is working. for me. Prayers have carried me through the difficult moments. Thank u for rooting for me.”
NY1 said that Boone was "devoted to raising awareness about cancer and other health issues” while "facing a constant fight of her own."
"Ruschell felt it was important to extend a hand and help others in their time of need," the station continued.
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network also mourned Boone's death, while praising her efforts to raise awareness about the disease. She had served as emcee for the organization's PurpleStride event earlier this year.
"We are heartbroken by the loss of Ruschell Boone, @NY1 Anchor and dear member of our PanCAN community, to #pancreaticcancer," the nonprofit wrote on X.
"Ruschell bravely shared her story and provided hope and inspiration to so many touched by pancreatic cancer," they wrote. "We fondly remember the warmth, joy and light she brought to #PanCANPurpleStride New York City as our emcee on an otherwise cold, rainy day. We’re forever grateful to Ruschell for raising public awareness of the disease and we send our deepest condolences to her family and loved ones.
"PanCAN will honor the memory of Ruschell and everyone affected by continuing to create a world where all patients with pancreatic cancer will thrive."
Boone is survived by her husband, Todd, whom she met at NY1, and their two sons, Carter and Jackson.