Former WGN-TV anchor Allison Payne dies at 57

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Former WGN-TV anchor Allison Payne has died at the age of 57.

The 21-year veteran of the station passed away September 1 at her home in Detroit, according to a WGN press release.

Hired at just 25 years old, Payne covered numerous stories across the globe, including tracing former President Barack Obama's roots in Kenya and traveling to the Ivory Coast alongside Rev. Jesse Jackson.

"I couldn't have asked for a better partner than Allison Payne. She had it all ... smart, beautiful and inquisitive, but most of all, my friend," said her former co-anchor, Steve Sanders.

Payne was a Detroit native who eventually called Chicago home for many years, playing an active role in the community, according to WGN.

She was a mentor to many, eventually establishing a foundation for journalism students.

"While so many journalists worry about the list of questions they want to ask, she taught me the most important part of an interview, is the listening. That even if you don't ask the right questions, if you listen well enough, the story will reveal itself," said WGN-TV producer Tyra Martin.

Payne returned to her hometown of Detroit in September 2011.
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