TV host Ruschel Boone, who highlighted New York’s diverse communities, dies of pancreatic cancer at 48

Russell Boone, an award-winning reporter and anchor for New York's NY1 television station, has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer over the past year, the station announced Tuesday.

Boone, 48, died Sunday, New York said in a news release.

Boone joined the all-news station as a reporter covering the Queens area in 2002 and moved to the anchor desk with a midday slot in 2021.

The station, now owned by Charter Communications, said Boone “had a unique ability to connect with New Yorkers — on screen and in person — in a way that made her feel like a trusted friend.”

Originally from Jamaica, Boone was known for covering the city's diverse immigrant communities.

He covered big stories like Superstorm Sandy and the protests after the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, and he also took part in celebrations like the annual American West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn and the New Year's Eve drop dance in Times Square.

Boone was the only television reporter in the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Democratic primary in June 2018 when the underdog candidate learned from early returns that she was going to upset incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley. “I can't put this into words,” the would-be congressman told Boone on live television.

Boone won several awards during her career, including a New York Press Club Award for Best Feature Reporting and a New York Emmy Award for her series “New York: Unfiltered.”

After her cancer diagnosis, Boone took a leave of absence from New York 1 from June 2022 to March of this year for a grueling round of chemotherapy.

But she announced on social media on July 27 that her cancer had taken a turn for the worse. “Unfortunately, my cancer has metastasized to my liver and I'm back in treatment,” Boone told X, formerly of Twitter. “It's rough, but the chemo is working.”

He added, “Prayers got me through the tough times. Thank you for supporting me.”

Her first interview when she returned to New York in March was with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who appeared on the station Tuesday to offer a tribute.

“We're all better people because we had a wonderful, wonderful person who referred to us and showed us that no matter how much pain you have, you can turn it into purpose,” Adams said. “You never saw her frown. He did not say “Woe is me.” He said “Why not me too. I want to inspire others.”

Boone's survivors include her husband, Todd Boone, and two sons;