Tom Brokaw

Recipient, ICFJ Founders Award

One of the most trusted and respected figures in broadcast journalism, Tom Brokaw served for 21 years as the anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News" until December 1, 2004. He continues to report and produce for NBC News, and to provide his expertise during breaking news events.

Since 1962, when he began his journalism career in Omaha, Brokaw has received every major broadcast award for his coverage of the biggest stories at home and around the world. These include the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement award, the Emmy award for Lifetime Achievement, and induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received numerous other Emmy, Peabody and duPont awards for his groundbreaking stories. In addition, the Association of the U.S. Army has honored him with its highest award, the George Catlett Marshall Medal, the first ever given to a journalist.

Wherever trouble broke out, Brokaw was there to report it. During his last few months in the anchor job, he traveled with Pakistani army units to the rugged terrain along the border with Afghanistan as they hunted for Al Qaeda. He also reported from Southeastern Afghanistan, the base of the U.S. 10th Mountain Division, as it pursued the hunt for bin Laden.

On March 19, 2003, Brokaw was the first American news anchor to report that the war with Iraq had begun, and in April 2003, he landed the first television interview with President Bush after the president declared the end of major combat. During the summer of 2003, Brokaw was the first evening news anchor to return to Baghdad to report on reconstruction efforts.

Brokaw has an impressive series of additional firsts, including the first exclusive U.S. one-on-one interview with Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev. 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.

In addition to "Nightly News," Brokaw produced a series of hour-long documentaries, "Tom Brokaw Reports." He tackled such diverse topics as literacy, drunk driving, corporate scandals, immigration policies and education. In “A Question of Fairness,” he examined the University of Michigan’s controversial affirmative action policy and its implications. In "The Lost Boys," he focused on the plight of boys forced from their homes during Sudan’s brutal war.

Brokaw has also stood out as a political reporter. He has covered every presidential election since 1968 and was NBC's White House correspondent during the heat of the Watergate scandal. From 1984 through 2004, Brokaw anchored all of NBC's presidential election coverage.

In 1998, Brokaw became a best selling author with the publication of "The Greatest Generation," honoring the service of World War II veterans. Inspired by the mountain of mail he received from that book, Brokaw wrote "The Greatest Generation Speaks" in 1999. His third book, "An Album of Memories," was published in 2001. In November 2002, he produced his fourth book, "A Long Way from Home," a reflection on growing up in the American heartland.