Tom Brokaw--distinguished U.S. news anchor, journalist and best-selling author--is the keynote speaker for the 2013 Simon Benson Awards Dinner.
He began his television career in 1960 in Sioux City, Iowa, and joined NBC News in Los Angeles in 1966—a professional relationship that continued for the rest of his career. In Lost Angeles, he covered Ronald Reagan’s first run for public office, the rise of the 1960s counter culture and the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.
In 1973, Brokaw was named NBC White House correspondent and covered the Watergate scandal that eventually toppled President Nixon. Brokaw hosted the Today Show from 1976 to 1981 and then anchored the NBC Nightly News until his retirement in 2004. When Tim Russert, Meet the Press moderator, died suddenly in 2008, Brokaw stepped in for his friend and hosted the program for six months.
As news anchor, Brokaw achieved impressive firsts, including the first one-on-one U.S. television interviews with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Russian President Vladimir Putin; the first U.S. network report on human rights abuses in Tibet and an exclusive interview with the Dalai Lama; and the only U.S. network anchor report from Berlin as the wall came down. On September 11, 2001, he anchored NBC coverage from 9:30 a.m. until after midnight.
In addition to daily news gathering responsibilities, Brokaw reported on more than 30 documentaries on subjects ranging from AIDS to race, education, medicine, immigration and global warming.
In 1998, Brokaw published his first book, The Greatest Generation, and followed it with five other books, including BOOM! Voices of the Sixties and most recently, The Time of Our Lives. He is also a popular essayist for publications ranging from The New York Times to Rolling Stone.
Winner of every major award in his profession—including Peabodys, duPonts, Emmys and lifetime achievement honors—Brokaw was rated the most popular television news personality in the country. He now serves as special correspondent, news analyst and documentary reporter.
The Washington Speakers Bureau provided biographical information.