Many success stories open with humble beginnings. Rena Golden's began in a village near the India-Nepal border.
Born in northeastern India in 1961, her parents brought her to the United States as a child, where a life of accolades and a career with a global news network awaited.
Golden passed away Wednesday in her Atlanta home after battling lymphoma for two years.
She was 51.
In addition to her husband, Rob Golden, she leaves behind a daughter, Sabrina, and a son, Adam.
Golden was "a devoted wife and above all, a dedicated mom," her husband wrote.
Warm memories around the globe
From her days at CNN to her later career at the Weather Channel, she touched many lives.
During her positions of leadership at CNN, she managed a global news team for more than a decade.
She spearheaded coverage of major world news, from the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
She left a personal mark on many who worked for and with her. Messages of tribute and condolences, by colleagues bereft at her passing, poured on her Facebook page.
"Our extended CNN is really sad tonight," former CNN anchor Daryn Kagan wrote. "We lost a good one. One of the superstars viewers don't see behind the scenes."
Former CNN journalist Robert Johnson, now director of photography at The Weather Channel, said she will be missed. Golden spent the last year of her career there.
"She had so much enthusiasm," Johnson posted on Facebook.
Words like "mentor" and "open ear" come up a lot when people describe Golden.
"Rena Golden inspired and mentored so many people and, lucky for me, I am one of them," CNN producer Boriana Treadwell wrote.
Her understanding of people, her advice and her encouragement made her more than popular with those who knew her closely.
"I've been trying to reconcile myself to" the news of her death, said former CNN producer Roy Wadia from Mumbai, India. "She was one of my dearest friends."
Love and success
Golden started out in 1985 as a producer at CNN, where she found both career success and love. Back then, her name was Rena Shaheen Zeya.
Then along came love.
Rob Golden worked as a journalist in the newsroom. The two fell for each other, and in 1987, colleagues put together a mock newscast, in which he asked her to marry him.
She thought she was watching a real newscast on TV. Rob Golden's appearance on the screen took her by surprise.
Then came the first career boost, when she was promoted to supervisor in 1993.
Four years later, she became vice president of programming at CNN International.