Tom Brokaw, one of the most trusted and respected figures in broadcast journalism, is a special correspondent for NBC News. In this role, he reports and produces long-form documentaries and provides expertise during election coverage and breaking news events for NBC News.
On December 1, 2004, Brokaw stepped down after 21 years as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News. He has received numerous honors, including the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award, the Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement, and he was inducted as a fellow into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition, Brokaw has received the Records of Achievement Award from The Foundation for the National Archives; the Association of the U.S. Army honored him with their highest award, the George Catlett Marshall Medal, first ever to a journalist; and he was the recipient of the West Point Sylvanus Thayer Award, in recognition of devoted service to bringing exclusive interviews and stories to public attention. His insight, ability and integrity have earned him a dozen Emmys and two Peabody and duPont awards for his journalistic achievements. In 2003, "NBC Nightly News" was honored with the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast, representing the program's fourth consecutive win in this category.
Most recently, Brokaw served as interim moderator of NBC's top-rated Sunday morning public affairs program, Meet the Press, from June 2008 until December 2008, after the untimely death of Tim Russert.
Over the years at NBC, while anchoring "NBC Nightly News" and "Today," Brokaw also reported on 25 documentaries on subjects ranging from race, AIDS, the war on terror, Los Angeles gangs, Bill Gates, literacy, immigration and the evangelical movement. In addition to his long form documentaries, "Tom Brokaw Reports," he has collaborated with NBC News' Peacock Productions for Discovery's Emmy-winning documentary "Global Warming: What You Need to Know with Tom Brokaw," and History Channel's two-hour documentaries, "1968 with Tom Brokaw" and "KING."
In 2006, Brokaw reported on race and poverty in "Separate and Unequal," which was awarded an RTNDA/Unity Award. The documentary took an honest look at the progress that's been made, and the problems that persist, 40 years after the civil rights movement. Later that year, he reported on illegal immigration in "In the Shadow of the American Dream," exploring the economic realities, the social consequences and the political controversies surrounding one of the hottest topics dividing the country today.
In 2005, Brokaw returned to primetime for the first time since leaving the anchor desk with "The Long War," an in-depth report on the war on terror. He traveled around the world - to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, France and Washington D.C. - to interview world leaders, intelligence experts and those personally affected by the events of Sept. 11 for this documentary. "The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat," quickly followed in July 2005, and in September 2005, Brokaw reported on the religious revolution sweeping the country in "In God they Trust." In December 2005, he received wide acclaim for his fourth documentary that year, "To War and Back," which took a comprehensive look at what happens when young men go to war, lose friends, get hurt and then come home.
Brokaw received his second Peabody in 2004 with the documentary, "Tom Brokaw Reports: A Question of Fairness." The report examined the issue of affirmative action through the controversy surrounding the University of Michigan and its affirmative action policy, which detailed the continuing struggle to deal with race, fairness and higher education in America. In 2003, he won an Emmy for Outstanding Interview for "America Remembers: 9/11 Air Traffic Controllers."
Prior to stepping down as anchor of "Nightly News," Brokaw traveled to Iraq in June 2004 to cover the handover of power and reported for five days for all NBC News programs and MSNBC. In addition to interviewing a mix of newsmakers including Iraq's interim president Ghazi Al Yawer, General David Petraeus, the American General who is charged with rebuilding the Iraqi security forces, and securing an exclusive interview with General Ricardo Sanchez, the man who was in charge of the American forces in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was captured, Brokaw patrolled the dangerous Baghdad streets in a humvee convoy with the First Cavalry Division, and also reported on student life in Baghdad with the class of 2004.
Brokaw was the only network evening news anchor to report from Normandy, France during the D-Day 60th Anniversary ceremonies in June 2004. He had exclusive interviews with French President Jacques Chirac in Paris and President George W. Bush at the American Cemetery Normandy Beach in Colleville-sur-Mer, France on June 6, the 60th Anniversary of D-Day. In February 2004, Brokaw returned to the Asian subcontinent to report on the challenges Pakistan and Afghanistan face as they continue to fight the war on terror. In addition to securing exclusive interviews Pakistan president Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Brokaw traveled with the Pakistani army to mountainous and barren terrain along the border with Afghanistan as they hunted for Al Qaeda and also reported from Southeastern Afghanistan, the base of the 10th Mountain Division, where U.S. soldiers are not only hunting for Al Qaeda, but trying to win the hearts and minds of the people as well.
In 2003, as the international controversy escalated over the increasing likelihood of war with Iraq, Brokaw traveled overseas to the diplomatic and military hotspots throughout the Middle East and the Gulf. On March 19, 2003, Brokaw was the first American news anchor to report that the war with Iraq had begun, and in April 2003, he landed the first television interview with President Bush after the President declared the end of major combat. During the summer of 2003, Brokaw was the first evening news anchor to return to Baghdad to report for five nights for "NBC Nightly News" and "Dateline NBC" on post-war Iraq and the reconstruction efforts.
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He has an impressive series of additional "firsts," including the first exclusive U.S. one-on-one interview with Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, earning an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award. Brokaw was the first and only anchor to report from the scene the night the Berlin Wall fell, and was the first American anchor to travel to Tibet to report on human-rights abuses and to conduct an interview with the Dalai Lama.
Brokaw has also reported in documentaries of international importance, including "The Road to Baghdad" where he documented the path to possible war with Iraq through the eyes of half a dozen people at the center of the crisis, and "The Lost Boys," a story about how the ongoing war in Sudan forced the "lost boys" out of their villages in the 1980s, which won a National Press Club Award.
In 1997, Brokaw was awarded with another Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism for "Why Can't We Live Together," a documentary that examined the hidden realities of racial separation in America's suburbs. His first Peabody award in 1989 was for "To Be An American," a documentary about the American tapestry: who we are, how we got here and what it means to become a new citizen.
The NBC News anchor also has a distinguished record as a political reporter. He has interviewed every president since Lyndon Baines Johnson and has covered every presidential election since 1968. Brokaw was NBC's White House correspondent during the national trauma of Watergate (1973-1976). From 1984 to 2004, he anchored all of NBC's political coverage, including primaries, national conventions and election nights, and moderated nine primary and/or general election debates.
Complementing his distinguished broadcast journalism career, Brokaw has written articles, essays and commentary for several publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Time, The New Yorker, Men's Journal, Sports Illustrated, Life, National Geographic, Outside and Interview.
In 1998, Brokaw became a best selling author with the publication of "The Greatest Generation." Inspired by the mountain of mail he received from his first book, Brokaw wrote "The Greatest Generation Speaks" in 1999. His third book, "An Album of Memories," was published in 2001. In November 2002, Brokaw's fourth best selling book "A Long Way from Home," a reflective look about growing up in the American Heartland, was released. In his fifth best-selling book, "BOOM! Voices of the Sixties," Brokaw shares a series of remembrances and reflections of the time based on his experiences and over 50 interviews with a wide variety of well known artists, politicians, activists, business leaders, and journalists, as well as lesser known figures, including a daughter of a former Mississippi segregationist governor, Vietnam veterans, civil rights activists, health care pioneers, environmentalists, and war protesters.
Brokaw began his journalism career in 1962 at KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska. He anchored the late evening news on Atlanta's WSB-TV in 1965 before joining KNBC-TV in Los Angeles. Brokaw was hired by NBC News in 1966 and from 1976-1981 he anchored NBC News' "Today" program.