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Diane Sawyer news

Diane Sawyer's mother, Jean Sawyer Hayes, died Oct.

Diane Sawyer's mother, Jean Sawyer Hayes, died Oct. 22 at age 94. This picture is dated 1972. Credit: ABC News

Diane Sawyer's mother, Jean Sawyer Hayes, has died at the age of 94, ABC News said a short while ago. This statement from ABC News chief, James Goldston, was sent to staffers: 

For decades she taught elementary school, and to this day hundreds of students remember her vitality, curiosity and belief in them. Even after retiring, Jean had deep ties in her community and was adored by her large family, her students and their families. There will be a small family memorial service in Louisville this weekend. In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested a donation to a scholarship fund they will set up in Jean’s honor. We’ll share those details when they’re available.

 Sawyer's mom, as so many at ABC News know, was a major part of her daughter's life and legend. Byall accounts, she was a remarkable lady in her own right, too. She was not only an esteemed educator in  Louisville, Ky., but her famous daughter relied upon her for counsel as well. There was some speculation that when Sawyer decided to step down as anchor of "Wolrd News" earlier this year, the reason had been to care for her mother, who had been in ill health. 

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