Max Robinson, who became the first black news anchorman on American network television but soon saw his life beset by personal and professional problems, died Tuesday from complications of AIDS. He was 49.

Robinson started his broadcasting career as a disc jockey in Richmond, Va. He moved to Washington in 1965.In 1978, Robinson left Washington television station WTOP, where he had won top ratings as an anchorman for a decade, to join ABC as the first black to anchor a network news show. He co-anchored the ABC Evening News from Chicago with Peter Jennings in London and Frank Reynolds in Washington.

Robinson's tenure at ABC was troubled. In a speech at Smith College in 1981, he accused the network of racism and in 1984, he quit and went to work for a station in Chicago.