Thomas John Brokaw (/ˈbroʊkɔː/; born February 6, 1940) is an American television journalist and author, best known for being the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News for 22 years (1982–2004). He is the only person to have hosted all three major NBC News programs: The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and, briefly, Meet the Press. He now serves as a Special Correspondent for NBC News and works on documentaries for other outlets.
Along with competitors Peter Jennings at ABC News and Dan Rather at CBS News, Brokaw was one of the "Big Three" news anchors in the U.S. during the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. The three hosted their networks' flagship nightly news programs for over 20 years, and all three started and retired (or died, in Jennings' case) within a year of each other.
Brokaw has also written several books on American history and society in the 20th century. He is the author of The Greatest Generation (1998) and other books and the recipient of numerous awards and honors.
Brokaw in September 2015
Thomas John Brokaw
February 6, 1940
|Education||Yankton High School|
|Alma mater||University of South Dakota|
NBC Nightly News anchor
NBC News Special Correspondent
Meet the Press moderator
|Term||Anchor of NBC Nightly News|
Meredith Lynn Auld (m. 1962)
Brokaw was born in Webster, South Dakota, the son of Eugenia "Jean" (née Conley; 1917–2011), who worked in sales and as a post-office clerk, and Anthony Orville "Red" Brokaw (1912–1982). He was the eldest of their three sons (Dan and Richard) and named for his maternal great-grandfather, Thomas Conley. His father was a descendant of Huguenot immigrants Bourgon and Catherine (née Le Fèvre) Broucard, and his mother was Irish-American, although the origin of the name Brokaw is contested. His paternal great-grandfather, Richard P. Brokaw, founded the town of Bristol, South Dakota, and the Brokaw House, a small hotel and the first structure in Bristol.
Brokaw's father was a construction foreman for the Army Corps of Engineers. He worked at the Black Hills Ordnance Depot (BHOD) and helped construct Fort Randall Dam; his job often required the family to resettle throughout South Dakota during Brokaw's early childhood. The Brokaws lived for short periods in Bristol, Igloo (the small residential community of the BHOD), and Pickstown, before settling in Yankton, where Brokaw attended high school.
As a high school student attending Yankton Senior High School, Brokaw was governor of South Dakota American Legion Boys State, and in that capacity 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 World War II veterans, The Greatest Generation. Brokaw also became an Advisory Board member of the Joe Foss Institute.
Brokaw matriculated at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, but dropped out after a year as he apparently failed to keep up in his studies, in his words majoring in "beer and co-eds". He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of South Dakota in 1964.
Brokaw's television career began at KTIV in Sioux City, Iowa followed by stints at KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska, and WSB-TV in Atlanta, In 1966, he joined NBC News, reporting from Los Angeles and anchoring the 11:00 pm news for KNBC. In 1973, NBC made Brokaw White House correspondent, covering the Watergate scandal, and anchor of the Saturday editions of Nightly News. He became host of NBC's Today Show in 1976 and remained in the job until 1981.
He kept a closely guarded secret for many years, in 2017 Brokaw wrote of having been offered – and having promptly turned down – the press secretary position in the Nixon White House in 1969. While living in California before Nixon made his political comeback, Brokaw had come to know H. R. 'Bob' Haldeman (White House chief of staff and initiator of the offer) as well as Nixon's press secretary, Ron Ziegler, and others members of the White House staff.
On April 5, 1982, Brokaw began co-anchoring NBC Nightly News from New York with Roger Mudd in Washington. After a year, NBC News president Reuven Frank concluded that the dual-anchor program was not working and selected Brokaw to be sole anchor. The NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw commenced on September 5, 1983. Among other news items, he covered the Challenger disaster, EDSA Revolution, Loma Prieta earthquake, fall of the Berlin Wall and Hurricane Andrew.
Brokaw scored a major coup when, on November 9, 1989, he was the first English-language broadcast journalist to report opening of the Berlin Wall. Brokaw attended a televised press conference organized in East Berlin by Günter Schabowski, press spokesman for East German Politburo, which had just decided to allow East Berliners to cross to the West without prior approval. When Schabowski was asked when this epoch-making freedom would take effect, he glanced through his notes, then said, "sofort, unverzüglich" ("immediately, without delay"), touching off a stampede of East Berliners to the Wall. Brokaw subsequently obtained an interview with Schabowski who when pressed repeated his "immediately" statement. Later that evening Brokaw reported from the west side of Brandenburg Gate on this announcement and pandemonium that had broken out in East Berlin because of it.
As anchor, Brokaw conducted the first one-on-one American television interviews with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He and Katie Couric hosted a prime-time newsmagazine, Now, that aired from 1993–94 before being folded into the multi-night Dateline NBC program.
Also, in 1993, on the first broadcast of Late Show with David Letterman on CBS, in response to David Letterman's monologue containing jokes about NBC, Brokaw walked on stage in a surprise cameo (accompanied by Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra playing the NBC Nightly News theme). He congratulated Letterman on his new show and wished him well, but also stated he was disappointed and shocked; he subsequently walked over to the man holding the cue cards, took two, and remarked, "These last two jokes are the intellectual property of NBC!", leaving the stage afterwards. Letterman then remarked, "Who would have thought you would ever hear the words 'intellectual property' and 'NBC' in the same sentence?"
On September 11, 2001, Brokaw joined Katie Couric and Matt Lauer around 9:30 a.m., following the live attack on the South Tower of the World Trade Center, and continued to anchor all day, until after midnight. Following the collapse of the second tower, Brokaw observed:
This is war. This is a declaration and an execution of an attack on the United States.
He continued to anchor coverage to midnight on the following two days. Later that month, a letter containing anthrax was addressed to him as part of the 2001 anthrax attacks. Brokaw was not harmed, but two NBC News employees were infected. In 2008, he testified before the Commission on Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism about the anthrax attacks, publicly discussing his experiences for the first time in a detailed, day-by-day account.
In 2002, NBC announced that Brokaw would retire as anchor of the NBC Nightly News following the 2004 Presidential election, to be succeeded by Brian Williams. Brokaw would remain with NBC News in a part-time capacity from that point onwards, serving as an analyst and anchoring and producing documentary programs. Brokaw closed his final Nightly News broadcast in front of 15.7 million viewers on NBC on December 1, 2004, by saying:
Well the time is here. We've been through a lot together through dark days and nights and seasons of hope and joy. Whatever the story, I had only one objective, to get it right. When I failed, it was personally painful, and there was no greater urgency than course correction. On those occasions, I was grateful for your forbearance and always mindful that your patience and attention didn't come with a lifetime warranty. I was not alone here, of course. I am simply the most conspicuous part of a large, thoroughly dedicated and professional staff that extends from just beyond these cameras, across the country, and around the world. In too many instances, in places of grave danger and personal hardship and they're family to me. What have I learned here? More than we have time to recount this evening, but the enduring lessons through the decades are these: it's not the questions that get us in trouble, it's the answers. And just as important, no one person has all the answers. Just ask a member of the generation that I came to know well, the men and women who came of age in the Great Depression who had great personal sacrifice, saved the world during World War II and returned home to dedicate their lives to improving the nation they had already served so nobly. They weren't perfect, no generation is, but this one left a large and vital legacy of common effort to find common ground here and abroad in which to solve our most vexing problems. They did not give up their personal beliefs and greatest passions, but they never stopped learning from each other and most of all, they did not give up on the idea that we're all in this together, we still are. And it is in that spirit that I say, thanks, for all that I have learned from you. That's been my richest reward.
That's Nightly News for this Wednesday night. I'm Tom Brokaw. You'll see Brian Williams here tomorrow night, and I'll see you along the way.
By the end of his time as Nightly News anchor, Brokaw was regarded as the most popular news personality in the United States. Nightly News had moved into first place in the Nielsen ratings in late 1996 and held on to the spot for the remainder of Brokaw's tenure on the program, placing him ahead of ABC's Peter Jennings and World News Tonight, and CBS's Dan Rather and the CBS Evening News.
Along with Jennings and Rather, Brokaw helped usher in the era of the TV news anchor as a lavishly compensated, globe-trotting star in the 1980s. The magnitude of a news event could be measured by whether Brokaw and his counterparts on the other two networks showed up on the scene. Brokaw's retirement in December 2004, followed by Rather's ouster from the CBS Evening News in March 2005, and Jennings' death in August 2005, brought that era to a close.
After leaving the anchor chair, Brokaw remained at NBC as Special Correspondent, providing periodic reports for Nightly News. He served as an NBC analyst during the 2008 presidential election campaign and moderated the second presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain at Belmont University. He reported documentaries for the Discovery Channel and the History Channel and in 2006 delivered one of the eulogies during the state funeral of former President Gerald R. Ford.
On June 13, 2008, when NBC interrupted its regular programming to announce the sudden death of NBC News Washington Bureau Chief and Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert, Brokaw served as the announcer. A week later, NBC announced that Brokaw would serve as host of Meet the Press on an interim basis. He was succeeded by David Gregory in December 2008.
Brokaw serves on the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Rescue Committee and the Mayo Clinic. He is also a member of the Howard University School of Communications Board of Visitors and a trustee of the University of South Dakota, the Norton Simon Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and the International Rescue Committee. He also provides the voiceover for a University of Iowa advertisement that airs on television during Iowa Hawkeyes athletic events.
In April 2014, a new broadcast facility opened on the Universal Studios Hollywood lot, and named in Brokaw's honor as the Brokaw News Center. The facility houses KNBC-TV, Telemundo owned-and-operated station KVEA, and the Los Angeles bureau of NBC News.
Since 1962, Brokaw has been married to author Meredith Lynn Auld. They have three daughters: Jennifer, Andrea, and Sarah. Brokaw and his wife spend considerable time at their ranch near Livingston, Montana, which they bought in 1989.
On September 6, 2012, Brokaw was hospitalized after appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe. He later tweeted that he was "all well" and explained his illness as having accidentally taken half a dose of Ambien in the morning. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in August 2013 at the Mayo Clinic. Brokaw and his physicians are "very encouraged with his progress". He has continued to work for NBC throughout his treatments. On December 21, 2014, Brokaw announced that his cancer is in full remission.
In 2018, Brokaw was accused of unwanted sexual advances toward three women, one in 1968, two in the 1990s. Brokaw denied the allegations. In response to the allegations, former colleagues Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, Maria Shriver, Kelly O'Donnell, and 64 others, signed a letter characterizing Brokaw as "a man of tremendous decency and integrity".
I am facing a long list of grievances from a former colleague who left NBC News angry that she had failed in her pursuit of stardom. She has unleashed a torrent of unsubstantiated criticism and attacks on me.
Barbara Walters and Jim Hartz
| Today Co-Anchor with Jane Pauley
June 7, 1976 – December 31, 1981
Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel
| NBC Nightly News Anchor
April 5, 1982 – December 1, 2004
(co-anchor with Roger Mudd until September 5, 1983)
| Meet the Press Moderator
June 29, 2008 – December 7, 2008
These are the daytime Monday–Friday schedules on all three networks for each calendar season beginning in September 1985. All times are Eastern; affiliate schedules may differ.
New series are highlighted in bold.1986–87 United States network television schedule (weekday)
These are the daytime Monday–Friday schedules on all three networks for each calendar season beginning in September 1986. All times are Eastern; affiliate schedules may differ.
New series are highlighted in bold.1987–88 United States network television schedule (weekday)
These are the daytime Monday–Friday schedules on all three networks for each calendar season beginning in September 1987. All times are Eastern; affiliate schedules may differ.
New series are highlighted in bold.1989–90 United States network television schedule (weekday)
These are the daytime Monday–Friday schedules on all three networks for each calendar season beginning in September 1989. All times are Eastern; affiliate schedules may differ.
Talk shows are highlighted in yellow, local programming is white, reruns of prime-time programming are orange, game shows are pink, soap operas are chartreuse, news programs are gold and all others are light blue. New series are highlighted in bold.1999–2000 United States network television schedule (weekday)
All the 5 Commercial Networks airs the Daytime Monday–Friday Schedules for each calendar season beginning in September 1999. All Times are in Eastern; affiliate schedules may differ.
Talk shows are highlighted in yellow, local programming is white, reruns of prime-time programming are dark orange, game shows are pink, soap operas are chartreuse, news programs are gold and all others are light blue. New series are highlighted in bold.2003–04 United States network television schedule (weekday)
All the 4 Commercial Networks airs the Daytime Monday–Friday Schedules for each calendar season beginning in September 2003. All Times are in Eastern; affiliate schedules may differ.
Talk shows are highlighted in yellow, local programming is white, reruns of prime-time programming are orange, game shows are pink, soap operas are chartreuse, news programs are gold and all others are light blue. New series are highlighted in bold.Boys Nation
Boys Nation is an annual forum concerning civic training, government, leadership, and Americanism that is run by the American Legion. One hundred Boys Nation Senators are chosen from a pool of over 20,000 Boys State participants, making it one of the most selective educational programs in the United States.Each year, two delegates in the summer after their junior year of high school are selected from each of the fifty American Legion Boys State programs in the United States (Hawaii does not host a Boys State however Washington DC does). These delegates attend the week-long event in Washington, DC.
The event endeavors to teach delegates about the processes of the Federal government of the United States by establishing a mock Senate and organizing mock elections of a Boys Nation Senate President Pro Tempore, Senate Secretary, Vice President, and President. Senators also attend lectures and forums, and visit governmental institutions and historical sites. Tom Brokaw and former president Bill Clinton have also been involved. It is a tradition for the student senators to take a private tour of the White House and be received by the current president. Boys Nation Senators also ordinarily receive private tours of the United States Supreme Court, the Congress, the Pentagon, and the State Department.
Students assume the role of a United States Senator, representing their respective (Boys) State. They write and introduce bills and debate in the senate chambers. Delegates are split into political parties and draft a party platform as well as perform usual party duties like nominations for president and vice-president, along with elected party leadership.
The American Legion Auxiliary runs a similar event called Girls Nation.Brian Williams
Brian Douglas Williams (born May 5, 1959) is an American journalist at NBC News, currently serving as an anchor on the cable network MSNBC and host of the network's nightly program, The 11th Hour with Brian Williams.Williams is known for his ten years as anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, the evening news program of the NBC television network. After Williams joined the program in December 2004, NBC News was awarded the Peabody Award for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina, and Williams accepted the award on behalf of the organization. In February 2015, Williams was suspended for six months, and eventually demoted from the Nightly News for "misrepresent[ing] events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003."John Chancellor
John William Chancellor (July 14, 1927 – July 12, 1996) was an American journalist who spent most of his career with NBC News. He served as anchor of the NBC Nightly News from 1970 to 1982 and continued to do editorials and commentaries for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw until 1993.KTOQ
KTOQ (1340 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a sports format. Licensed to Rapid City, South Dakota, United States, the station serves the Rapid City area. The station is currently owned by Haugo Broadcasting, Inc., and features programming from ESPN Radio and Westwood One.In 1998, Haugo Broadcasting (owner of KSQY) acquired Rapid City stations KIQK "Kick 104" and KTOQ "K-Talk 1340" from Tom-Tom Broadcasting, then owned by NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw. Soon after the purchase, KSQY moved its studios to Rapid City and joined its new sister stations. In September 2008, Haugo Broadcasting moved into its new facilities at 3601 Canyon Lake Drive.
In April 2012, KTOQ changed its format to sports, with programming from ESPN Radio.In March 2013, it began simulcasting its signal on 105.7 FM.List of Hofstra University honorary degree recipients
This is a list of honorary degree recipients from Hofstra University in New York.
Rand Araskog (honorary doctorate, 1990), CEO of ITT Corporation, 1990
Jan Peter Balkenende ( 2011), former Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Joseph Bologna (2002), actor.
Tom Brokaw (1985), anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw
Barbara Bush (1997), former First Lady of the United States
George H. W. Bush (1997), 41st President of the United States
Clifford Chapin (2010), voice actor affiliated with Funimation
Kenneth I. Chenault (2007), chairman and CEO, American Express Company
Bill Clinton (2005), 42nd President of the United States
Elizabeth Coleman, ninth president of Bennington College
Nelson DeMille (was also awarded Doctor of Humane Letters), Hofstra alumni 1970
Brian Dennehy (2003)
E.L. Doctorow (2004), prominent author, Ragtime
Dwight D. Eisenhower (honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, 1950), former five-star general; 34th President of the United States (1953–1961); Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during the Second World War
Gerald R. Ford (1981), 38th President of the United States
Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board
Helen Hayes (1990), nicknamed "First Lady of the American Theater" because she was one of nine people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award
Alfred Heineken (1996), former president of the brewing company Heineken International
Billy Joel (1997), musician, rock star
Robert Wood Johnson IV, Chairman and CEO of the Johnson Company; owner of the New York Jets
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1965), civil rights leader
Cy Leslie (1974), record industry executive
Jeffrey Lyons (2000), NBC film and theater critic
Harold W. McGraw Jr., Chairman Emeritus, McGraw Hill Companies, Inc.
John Money(honorary doctorate of Humane Letters, 1992), sexologist
Robert Moses (1948), "master builder" of the 20th century
David Neeleman (2007), founder of JetBlue Airways
LeRoy Neiman (honorary Doctor of Arts degree, 1998), artist
Bernadette Peters (2002), actress, singer
Cokie Roberts (2003), journalist
Jihan Sadat (1987, from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), wife of Anwar el-Sadat, the assassinated President of Egypt
Neil Simon (1981), playwright/screenwriter
William L. Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration; former diplomat and United States Ambassador; United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Under Secretary General
Margaret Thatcher (2000), former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Paul A. Volcker (1987, from the School of Business), chairman of the Federal Reserve Board
Barbara Walters (1986), journalist, writer and media personality
James D. Watson (1976), molecular biologist; co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule; winner of Nobel prize
Frank Zarb (honorary Doctor of Law degree), Hofstra alumni, BBA 1957, MBA 1962NBC Nightly News
NBC Nightly News (titled as NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt for its weeknight broadcasts since June 22, 2015) is the flagship daily evening television news program for NBC News, the news division of the NBC television network in the United States. First aired on August 3, 1970, the program is currently the most watched network newscast in the United States, with an average of 9.3 million viewers, just a few thousand more than its nearest rival, ABC's World News Tonight. NBC Nightly News is produced from Studio 3C at NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City and select editions broadcast from The Brokaw News Center in Universal City, California.
Since 2015, the broadcast has been anchored by Lester Holt on weeknights, José Díaz-Balart on Saturday and Kate Snow on Sunday. Previous anchors have included David Brinkley, John Chancellor, Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams.
The program is broadcast live over most NBC stations from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time seven days a week; a special "Western Edition" of the program occasionally features updated information on news stories covered during the original telecast for Pacific Time Zone viewers. Its current theme music, "The Mission" (which debuted in 1985) was composed by John Williams.Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric
Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric, shortened to Now, is an American newsmagazine, which aired on NBC from 1993 to 1994. It was hosted by Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric. The show was eventually merged into Dateline NBC.Paradox of prosperity
Paradox of Prosperity is a term used widely in many instances in economics, social theory and general commentary. In inter-generational analysis, Professor Gilbert N. M. O. Morris defines the term through an analysis of the familial dynamics and social proclivities of what Tom Brokaw has called the "Greatest Generation". Morris argues that: "A paradox of prosperity is revealed and shown to be stable in the cycles of economic advancement between generations. I would put the matter this way: If one accepts, for example, that Mr. Brokaw's 'Greatest Generation' were characterised by prudence, diligence, and patriotism in deed rather than word, that very generation produced its opposite in the generation that followed it. That is to say, I have found it repeated across the ages and across cultures, that the more diligent a previous generation, as a natural propensity, the more licentious the generation that follows. Invariably therefore, the generation that exhibits the more cogent properties of character for the best sort of citizenship fails to produce a generation of the same or similar characteristics."Reseda Boulevard
Reseda Boulevard, originally named Reseda Avenue until May 1929, is a major north-south arterial road that runs through the western San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles County, California.
Reseda Boulevard runs approximately 12 miles (19 km) from the Santa Monica Mountains at the Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park in the south to the Santa Susana Mountains and Porter Ranch in the north. It passes through the community of Tarzana, passes Mulholland Park gated community and El Caballero Country Club, then continues into the flats of the Valley through the communities of Reseda and Northridge, passes the campus of California State University Northridge, and ends at Porter Ranch. The epicenter of the 1994 Northridge earthquake was approximately one block west of the Boulevard, in its namesake community of Reseda. Damage occurred throughout the San Fernando Valley though areas of more widespread destruction followed along the boulevard's northern course including an apartment building which stood at the time, the Northridge Meadows Apartments, where 16 people died when the top two floors collapsed on the ground floor apartments. Tom Brokaw broadcast the NBC Nightly News from the scene of the Northridge Meadows Apartments on the evening of the earthquake.Steve Bridges
Steve Bridges (May 22, 1963 – March 3, 2012) was an American comedian, impressionist, and actor who was known for his impressions of politicians, television characters and broadcasters including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barney Fife, Homer Simpson, Tom Brokaw, Paul Harvey, and Rush Limbaugh.The Greatest Generation
The Greatest Generation is a 1998 book by journalist Tom Brokaw that profiles those who grew up in the United States during the deprivation of the Great Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II, as well as those whose productivity within the war's home front made a decisive material contribution to the war effort. The book popularized the term "Greatest Generation", which some use to describe the G.I. Generation in the United States.Brokaw profiles those who came of age during World War II in the US, stemming from his attendance at the D-Day 40th anniversary celebrations. In the book, Brokaw wrote, "it is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced". He argued that these men and women fought not for fame and recognition, but because it was the "right thing to do".The News with Brian Williams
The News with Brian Williams (later known as The News on CNBC) was an American news program that premiered on July 15, 1996, MSNBC's first day on the air. It was the first flagship signature news broadcast on both MSNBC and CNBC. The show was hosted by Brian Williams. The News was a broadcast designed mainly for primetime viewers who might have missed that night's NBC Nightly News.
The News was originally shown at 9:00pm ET on MSNBC until July 6, 2001. It was moved to the 8pm time slot on July 9, 2001.
During the United States presidential election, 2000, The News was the main program for MSNBC's coverage.
John Seigenthaler (and later various hosts such as Soledad O'Brien, Forrest Sawyer, and some of the presenters from CNBC and MSNBC) often substituted for Williams during his absence, mainly because of Williams' duties as substitute on NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.