Ralph Penza (November 22, 1932 – February 16, 2007) was a senior correspondent and substitute anchor for WNBC in New York City. He first joined WNBC in 1980, left the station in 1995 and rejoined it in October 1997. Among his many honors are six Emmy Awards and two New York Press Club Gold Typewriter awards.
Prior to joining WNBC, Penza worked as news director at WSAV radio in Savannah, Georgia, anchor and reporter at WDVM in Washington, D.C., an anchor at WCAU in Philadelphia, a producer, reporter and anchor at WCBS, and a producer at WABC.
Penza graduated from New York University, where he was a member of Alpha Phi Delta, with a bachelor's degree in radio and television. Previous to that he had graduated from Valley Stream Central High School in Valley Stream, New York. He lived most of his adult life in Malverne, immediately adjacent to his boyhood hometown in Valley Stream.
In February 1998, while covering Pope John Paul II's trip to Cuba, Penza located Joanne Chesimard, who was convicted of killing New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster 24 years before. Chesimard was sentenced to life in prison but escaped in 1979 and fled to Cuba for political asylum. She spoke to Penza in an interview where she maintained her innocence and recounted the night of the shooting, according to Penza's bio on the station's Web site.
Penza was a former president of the "Inner Circle," an organization of political reporters. He was the first television journalist to be named head of that organization. Penza died from an undisclosed sickness at the age of 74 in 2007.