NBC News correspondent Bob Dotson has won more than 100 awards spotlighting the extraordinary accomplishments of everyday Americans on TV. Now his long-running “American Story” feature, a staple of the TODAY show, is making the transition from television to to book form.
Viking Press, which has published many prominent authors of both fiction and nonfiction, including five winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, will publish “American Story with Bob Dotson.”
“What we know about America mostly comes from journalists who travel in herds, trailing politicians or camped out at big stories, pouncing on problems to repeat over and over,” Dotson said. “This book is for everyone who yearns to feel better about America again.”
For more than 30 years, Dotson has crisscrossed the nation, celebrating the extraordinary accomplishments of everyday people in his “American Story” reports. His book will spotlight many of them, including a truck driver who taught microsurgery; a boss who came out of retirement to start a new company for his former employees who could not find work, and a band director who turned his back on celebrity to save lives in a tough neighborhood.
Other “American Stories” the book will highlight include profiles of a man who used his lottery winning to send all the kids in his neighborhood to college; a 14-year-old who invented television, and two brothers who searched for 60 years until they found what the Navy could not: their father’s lost submarine.
A native of St. Louis, Mo., Dotson studied journalism and political science at Kansas University and then did graduate work in television and film at Syracuse University. His first broadcasting job was at WKY-TV in Oklahoma City. He came to NBC News via WKYC-TV in Cleveland, then opened the NBC News bureau in Dallas before moving to the Atlanta bureau.
Dotson is already the author of two books: one for aspiring journalists, "Make it Memorable," (Bonus Books); the other a memoir, "In Pursuit of the American Dream," (Athenaeum, NY). His literary work won the George Washington Honor Medal for excellence.
He has also received more than 100 awards for his work in broadcast journalism, including five national Emmys and nine nominations. On Sept. 27, 2010, his report on the Fighting Grossmans — eight brothers who fought in World War II simultaneously, the last of whom worked as a Wal-Mart greeter at age 90 — won an Emmy for Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast.
In addition, the Radio and Television News Directors have chosen Dotson to receive the Edward R. Murrow award for Writing a record five times. The Society of Professional Journalists picked Dotson for the "Best Network Feature Reporter." His work has also won top journalism awards from the National Press Photographers, DuPont-Columbia, the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation.
Dotson's stories have taken him to every state, many times, and around the world. He is an internationally acclaimed documentary producer. His film, El Capitan's Courageous Climbers (NBC Productions,) was the winner of seven International Film and Video Festivals and was awarded documentary's highest honor, the CINE Grand Prize.