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Biographical background on 2005 Dartmouth honorary degree recipientsTOM BROKAW(Doctor of Humane Letters)

Posted 04/28/05 • Contact Roland Adams (603) 646-3661

Tom Brokaw
Tom Brokaw

For 21 years, Tom Brokaw served as the anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News," a post he held until he stepped down on Dec. 1, 2004. Brokaw plans to continue with NBC News for the next ten years, reporting and producing long-form documentaries and providing expertise during breaking news events. His tenure with "NBC News" caps a career of more than 40 years as one of the nation's most trusted and respected journalists.

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.  He was hired by NBC News in 1966 and from 1976-1981 he anchored NBC News' "Today" program.

Brokaw has amassed an impressive record of exclusive interviews and first-hand reporting, including the first exclusive U.S. one-on-one interview with Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev. He has interviewed French President Jacques Chirac and President George W. Bush and was the first American anchor to report from Tibet on human-rights abuses and to interview the Dalai Lama. He also secured exclusive interviews with Pakistan president Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Afghan president Hamid Karzai. Additionally, Brokaw was the first and only anchor to report from the scene the night the Berlin Wall fell.

In 2003, as the U.S. moved toward war with Iraq, Brokaw traveled to hotspots throughout the Middle East and the Gulf.  In April 2003, he landed the first television interview with President Bush after the President declared the end of major combat in Iraq.  In 2004,  Brokaw reported from the frontlines in Iraq, covering the handover of power and interviewing pivotal figures including Iraq's interim president Ghazi Al Yawer and U.S. Generals David Petraeus and Ricardo Sanchez. As a reporter, he patrolled the Baghdad streets with the First Cavalry Division, and reported on student life in Baghdad with the class of 2004.

Brokaw, a seasoned political reporter, has covered every presidential election since 1968 and was NBC's White House correspondent during the Watergate scandal. From 1984 through 2004,  Brokaw anchored all of NBC's political coverage and has moderated nine primary and/or general election debates.

In addition to "Nightly News," Brokaw has conducted award-winning documentary reporting, including a series of hour-long documentaries, "Tom Brokaw Reports,"  tackling topics such as literacy, affirmative action, drunk driving, corporate scandals, immigration policies, and education.  Brokaw also received critical acclaim for his documentaries on issues of international importance including, "The Road to Baghdad" and "The Lost Boys," which documented the Sudanese refugee crisis.

Brokaw's reporting has won him many accolades, including two Peabody awards and an Emmy for Outstanding Interview for "America Remembers:  9/11 Air Traffic Controllers."  He is also the recipient of two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, the first in 1987 for his Gorbachev interview and again in 1997 for the documentary, "Why Can't We Live Together?" an examination of racial separation in America's suburbs. His numerous other awards include several Emmys, Overseas Press Club and National Headliner awards.  In 2003 "NBC Nightly News" was honored with the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast, the program's fourth consecutive win in this category.

Complementing his distinguished broadcast journalism career, Brokaw has written articles, essays and commentary for many prestigious publications and is the author of several highly-regarded and best-selling books, including "The Greatest Generation" (1998) and  "The Greatest Generation Speaks" (1999).  His third book, "An Album of Memories," was published in 2001 and his fourth book "A Long Way from Home," was released the following year.

Return to 2005 Commencement press release

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