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Leadership Conference

Tom Brokaw


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. Currently, Brokaw is traveling across the country, reporting on the changing face of the nation for his upcoming documentary, American Character Along Highway 50, airing in January 2010 on USA Network. In addition, he is reporting on the baby boomer generation for a documentary set to air in March 2010 on CNBC.

Previously, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 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.

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