Tom Brokaw
Photo courtesy of NBC

Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, one of the most trusted and respected figures in broadcast journalism, will deliver Fordham University’s 164th commencement speech on May 16, the Office of the President has announced.

A 47-year veteran of television broadcast news, the South Dakota native began his career in 1962 at KMTV in Omaha, Neb. He soon joined NBC and rose to prominence as a local news anchor and national correspondent. In 1976 he became co-anchor, along with Jane Pauley, of The Today Show.

He took over as evening news anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw in 1983. He delivered the evening news to millions of Americans for 21 years, rising in ratings against rival networks CBS and ABC. During Brokaw’s tenure, NBC Nightly Newsbecame the highest-ranking network news show—a distinction it still holds. By the time Brokaw retired in 2004, he had become known as “America’s most watched anchor.”

Brokaw has brought his news insight and integrity to an impressive number of world events. In the 1970s, as NBC’s White House correspondent, he covered the Watergate scandal and resignation of President Richard Nixon. In 1989, he reported from the scene of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. On Sept. 11, 2001, Brokaw followed the live attack on the World Trade Centers for an entire day on the air, joined by Today Show co-anchors Katie Couric and Matt Lauer.

Most recently, Brokaw stepped in as interim moderator of Meet The Press when his friend and co-worker Tim Russert died suddenly in June 2008.

As a political reporter, Brokaw has interviewed every president since Lyndon Johnson and has covered every presidential election since 1968.

He also has initiated in-depth reporting on tough social and political issues at the core of contemporary American life, both at home and abroad. His works have explored race relations, AIDS, the war on terror, Los Angeles gangs, Bill Gates, literacy, poverty, global warming, immigration and the evangelical movement.

Brokaw’s many achievements in journalism and reporting have earned him the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award, a dozen Emmys, two Peabody awards and induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Brokaw also became a best-selling author with The Greatest Generation (Random House, 1998), a book about Americans who came of age during the Great Depression and fought in World War II. The book spent more than 80 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list.

Today, Brokaw serves as an NBC News special correspondent, providing expertise during breaking news events.

The University will present Brokaw with an honorary doctorate degree at the ceremony.


Janet Sassi is editor/associate director of internal communications. She can be reached at (212) 636-7577 or [email protected]