Tom Brokaw (born February 6, 1940) is a television journalist and the anchorman and managing editor of the NBC News program NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. NBC Nightly News is the most watched cable or broadcast newscast in America. Brokaw also hosts, writes and moderates special programs on a wide range of topics, and has received many awards and honors. He has been married to Meredith Lynn Auld (a former Miss South Dakota and author) since 1962.
Besides writing for television, Brokaw also writes for periodicals and books. He serves on the Howard University School of Communications Board of Visitors and on the boards of trustees of the University of South Dakota, the Norton Simon Museum, and the American Museum of Natural History.
Born in Webster, South Dakota, Brokaw studied political science and worked as a radio reporter at the University of South Dakota from 1958 to 1962. His journalism career began at KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska.
In 1965 he became an editor and anchorman of the late-evening news on WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. The following year he joined NBC News, reporting from California and anchoring for KNBC in Los Angeles. From 1973-1976 he a NBC News White House correspondent, covering the Watergate scandal. During this time, he was asked by the higher-rated CBS News to join it after CBS's management had decided its reporter, Dan Rather, was too anti-Nixon. The switch never happened after word of it was leaked to the press.
In 1976 Brokaw became NBC News' Today Show host. He was also the floor reporter for the two major parties' presidential nominating conventions. On September 5, 1983 he became the anchor of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.
In 1987 he wrote The Arms, the Men, the Money, investingating Contra rebels. That same year he conducted the first one-on-one American TV interview with Mikhail Gorbachev, and won an A.I.duPont-Columbia University Award. He also moderated the debates among all declared presidential candidates of both parties.
In 1989 he reported the collapse of the Berlin Wall. From 1992-1993 he anchored The Brokaw Report series of prime-time "critical issues" specials. He was also host, with Katie Couric, of a prime-time news magazine called Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric. The show aired from 1993-1994.
In 1995 Brokaw reported from the site of the Oklahoma City bombing. The following year he reported from the scene of the TWA flight 800 tragedy. In 1997 Interviews Charlie Trie and Johnny Chung, key figures in the campaign finance abuse scandal.
In 1999 Brokaw conducted the first North American TV interview with Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, in Moscow. He also traveled to Tirana, Albania during NATO airstrikes in Yugoslavia.
In 2000 he conducted the first American TV interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Moscow. He was also Master of Ceremonies at the opening of the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.
In 2002, Brokaw announced his intention to retire from NBC after the 2004 Presidential election. NBC has announced that Brian Williams will replace Brokaw as the anchor of NBC Nightly News on December 1, 2004. NBC announced that Brokaw will remain with the network in a part-time capacity through 2014 serving as an analyst and producing documentary programs.
Brokaw is regarded as the most popular news personality in the United States. His program has consistently been the highest-rated evening news show.
1998 The Greatest Generation ISBN 0375502025 (hardback) ISBN 0385334621 (paperback) Depicts the Americans who came of age during the Great Depression and fought World War II, and went on to build America.
1999 The Greatest Generation Speaks ISBN 0375503943 (hardback) ISBN 0385335385 (paperback)
2001 An Album of Memories ISBN 0375505814 (hardback) ISBN 0375760415 (paperback)
2002 A Long Way from Home: Growing Up in the American Heartland ISBN 0375507639 (hardback) ISBN 0375759352 (paperback)
Public and Industry Awards
Peabody Award for a report called To Be An American
Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism for Dateline NBC documentary special, Why Can't We Live Together on hidden realities of racial separation in suburban America
Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism for his interview with Mikhail Gorbachev
seven Emmy Awards including one for China in Crisis special report
1990 National Headliner Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews for advancing the understanding of religion, race and ethnicity.
1992 Emmy award for reporting on floods in the Midwest
1995 Dennis Kauff Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism from Boston University
1995 Lowell Thomas Award from Marist College.
1997 University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism
1997 inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame
1998 Fred Friendly First Amendment Award, a tribute to those "individuals whose broadcast career reflects a consistent devotion to freedom of speech and the principles embodied in the First Amendment."
1998 American Legion award for distinguished public service in the field of communication.
1998 Citizens' Scholarship Foundation of America's President's Award recognizing "devotion to helping young people through scholarships."
1999 Congressional Medal of Honor Society's "Tex" McCrary Excellence in Journalism Award
1999 Emmy award for international coverage of the Kosovo conflict
University of Notre Dame
Washington University in St. Louis
University of Pennsylvania