We have some deeply sad and personal news to report.
Ruschell Boone, an Emmy award-winning journalist and our beloved colleague here at NY1, passed away Sunday due to complications related to pancreatic cancer. She was 48.
For 21 years, Ruschell was a member of our staff, as well as a friend and mentor to many.
Every New Yorker’s story starts somewhere, and Ruschell West’s story began in Kingston, Jamaica, where she spent her early childhood before immigrating to the Bronx with her family when she was 11 years old.
Ruschell’s path led her to Harry S. Truman High School and then to Baruch College in Manhattan. But she found her way into journalism by fate. When she was a senior in college, a classmate missed their radio slot, giving her the opportunity to jump in. This was the beginning of what became her life’s work, telling the stories of New Yorkers.
For someone who lived and breathed the five boroughs, NY1 was a perfect match, and she joined the station in 2002 as our Queens reporter.
She embedded herself in the borough, dedicating herself to issues that directly affected residents. From neighborhood controversies and police misconduct cases, to devastating events like Hurricane Sandy, Ruschell was all over Queens, pounding the pavement and following up, no story too big or too small.
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. Highlighting the city’s diverse communities was always a priority.
As a proud member of the Caribbean diaspora, attending the West Indian-American Day parade on Eastern Parkway each year was a highlight for Ruschell - and for the New Yorkers who got to celebrate with her.
Ruschell was always comfortable in a crowd, whether asking New Yorkers about their thoughts on national politics or as a familiar face at some of the city’s biggest celebrations — the Annual Village Halloween Parade, and in Times Square for the ball drop.
She took home numerous awards throughout her career, 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 a series that was a creative labor of love for her: “New York: Unfiltered.”
In 2018, she was the only television reporter to speak live with an underdog candidate for Congress who was about to become world-famous. In fact, she delivered the news to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
And at a time when thousands of people took to the streets of a pandemic-ravaged city, Ruschell was front and center, in the crowd and hearing directly from protesters who wanted someone to tell their story.
Despite her long list of awards and accolades, Ruschell was always most focused on her family, including her mother, her siblings, her husband Todd and her two sons, Carter and Jackson. Todd and Ruschell met at NY1 and married on Sept. 24, 2005.
She also had so much love from her other family: the generations of NY1 colleagues who relied on her for friendship and advice, and some straight talk when it was needed.
After nearly two decades of telling the news from the street, Ruschell moved to the anchor desk in 2021, where she brought New Yorkers the latest each day at noon on News All Day, a show that highlighted her love of community, her passion for breaking news and her understanding of the way New Yorkers live. She also always found time each day for some joy — and for her trusted pair of Nikes worn around the newsroom, and on the anchor set.
On June 2, 2022, Ruschell celebrated 20 years at NY1, surrounded by colleagues. Shortly after, she learned she had pancreatic cancer and began a grueling fight.
Throughout a difficult process, Ruschell was open about her journey, sharing regular updates on social media. She made it back to the anchor desk and was joined by the mayor on her first day back.
She was devoted to raising awareness about cancer and other health issues. And while she was facing a constant fight of her own, Ruschell felt it was important to extend a hand and help others in their time of need.
Wherever Ruschell was, she always made time to laugh, to dance, and to celebrate life.
A mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a journalist, a Jamaican-American, a true New Yorker, Ruschell leaves behind a rich and loving legacy for her family, her friends and her city.
Viewers who want to remember Ruschell can email notes to RememberingRuschell@charter.com.