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Famous Like Me > Writer > B > Tom Brokaw

Profile of Tom Brokaw on Famous Like Me

Name: Tom Brokaw  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 6th February 1940
Place of Birth: Webster, South Dakota, USA
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Tom Brokaw

Thomas John Brokaw (born February 6, 1940) is a television journalist and the former NBC News anchorman and managing editor of the program NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. His last broadcast as anchorman was on Wednesday, December 1, 2004, with Brian Williams succeeding him on December 2. During Tom Brokaw's tenure, NBC Nightly News was the most watched cable or broadcast newscast in the United States. Brokaw also hosted, wrote, and moderated special programs on a wide range of topics. Throughout his career, he has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

Brokaw serves on the Howard University School of Communications Board of Visitors and on the boards of trustees of the University of South Dakota, the Norton Simon Museum, and the American Museum of Natural History. As well as his television journalism, he has written for periodicals and has authored books.


Born in Webster, South Dakota. Attended Yankton High Senior High School in Yankton, South Dakota, where he was a debater. According to debate-team legend, his wife was a better debater than he was. As a high school student, Brokaw was governor of South Dakota Boy's State, and in that role, he accompanied then South Dakota Governor Joe Foss to New York City for a joint appearance on a TV game show. It was to be the beginning of a long relationship with Foss, whom Brokaw would later feature in his book about WW II vets, The Greatest Generation. Brokaw studied political science and worked as a radio reporter at the University of South Dakota from 1958 to 1962. His journalism career began at KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska.

In 1965, he became an editor and anchorman of the late-evening news on WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. The following year he joined NBC News, reporting from California and anchoring for KNBC in Los Angeles.

Tom Brokaw reporting on the Vietnam War at KNBC-TV in 1968

From 1973-1976 he was a NBC News White House correspondent, covering the Watergate scandal. During this time, he was asked by the higher-rated CBS News to join it after CBS's management had decided its reporter, Dan Rather, was too anti-Nixon. The switch never happened after word of it was leaked to the press.

In 1976, Brokaw became NBC News' Today Show host. He was also the floor reporter for the two major parties' presidential nominating conventions. On September 5, 1983 he became the anchor of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.

In 1987, he wrote The Arms, the Men, the Money, investigating Contra rebels. That same year he conducted the first one-on-one American TV interview with Mikhail Gorbachev, and won an A.I.duPont-Columbia University Award. He also moderated the debates among all declared presidential candidates of both parties.

In 1989, he reported the collapse of the Berlin Wall. From 1992-1993 he anchored The Brokaw Report series of prime-time "critical issues" specials. He was also host, with Katie Couric, of a prime-time newsmagazine called Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric. The show aired from 1993-1994.

In 1995, Brokaw reported from the site of the Oklahoma City bombing. The following year he reported from the scene of the TWA flight 800 tragedy. In 1997, he interviewed Charlie Trie and Johnny Chung, key figures in the campaign finance abuse scandal.

In 1999, he conducted the first North American TV interview with Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, in Moscow. He also traveled to Tirana, Albania during NATO airstrikes in Yugoslavia.

In 2000, he conducted the first American TV interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Moscow. He was also Master of Ceremonies at the opening of the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In 2002, Brokaw announced his intention to retire as anchor of the NBC Nightly News after the 2004 Presidential election. NBC then announced that Brian Williams would replace Brokaw as the anchor of NBC Nightly News on December 1, 2004. NBC also announced that Brokaw will remain with the network in a part-time capacity through 2014 serving as an analyst and producing documentary programs.

By the end of his time as Nightly News anchor, Brokaw was regarded as the most popular news personality in the United States. His program has consistently been the highest-rated evening news show.

He closed his final Nightly News broadcast on NBC by saying:

"That's Nightly News for this Wednesday night. I'm Tom Brokaw. You'll see Brian Williams tomorrow night; I'll see you along the way."

He is presently on the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations.

He has been married to Meredith Lynn Auld (a former Miss South Dakota and author) since 1962.

Preceded by:
John Chancellor
NBC Nightly News anchorman
(with Roger Mudd)

April 5, 1982 - September 4, 1983
Succeeded by:
Himself; becoming the sole anchor.
Preceded by:
The pairing of Roger Mudd and Brokaw himself
NBC Nightly News anchorman
September 5, 1983 - December 1, 2004
Succeeded by:
Brian Williams


  • 1998 The Greatest Generation ISBN 0375502025 (hardback) ISBN 0385334621 (paperback) Depicts the Americans who came of age during the Great Depression and fought World War II, and went on to build America.
  • 1999 The Greatest Generation Speaks ISBN 0375503943 (hardback) ISBN 0385335385 (paperback)
  • 2001 An Album of Memories ISBN 0375505814 (hardback) ISBN 0375760415 (paperback)
  • 2002 A Long Way from Home: Growing Up in the American Heartland ISBN 0375507639 (hardback) ISBN 0375759352 (paperback)


Public and Industry Awards

  • Peabody Award for a report called To Be An American
  • Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism for Dateline NBC documentary special, Why Can't We Live Together on hidden realities of racial separation in suburban America
  • Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism for his interview with Mikhail Gorbachev
  • seven Emmy Awards including one for China in Crisis special report
  • 1990 National Headliner Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews for advancing the understanding of religion, race and ethnicity.
  • 1992 Emmy award for reporting on floods in the Midwest
  • 1995 Dennis Kauff Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism from Boston University
  • 1995 Lowell Thomas Award from Marist College.
  • 1997 University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism
  • 1997 inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame
  • 1998 Fred Friendly First Amendment Award, a tribute to those "individuals whose broadcast career reflects a consistent devotion to freedom of speech and the principles embodied in the First Amendment."
  • 1998 American Legion award for distinguished public service in the field of communication.
  • 1998 Citizens' Scholarship Foundation of America's President's Award recognizing "devotion to helping young people through scholarships."
  • 1999 Congressional Medal of Honor Society's "Tex" McCrary Excellence in Journalism Award
  • 1999 Emmy award for international coverage of the Kosovo conflict
  • 2005 Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Honorary degrees

  • University of Notre Dame
  • Duke University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Boston College
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Fairfield University
  • Brandeis University
  • Dartmouth College

References, Spoofs, and Homages

There are several homages of Mr. Brokaw to date. On several episodes of Ozzy & Drix, there is a Nerve News Network reporter named Tom Bronchia, who has a very similar voice style to Mr. Brokaw. SNL's Darrel Hammond has the best Brokaw impersonation.

The Simpsons also pokes fun at Mr. Brokaw in several episodes.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Tom Brokaw