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Every fall, a leading figure in journalism is presented with the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. The recipient list reads like a Who’s Who of the media world: Tom Brokaw, Ted Turner, Bob Woodward, Bill Moyers, Katharine Graham, Allen Neuharth, Don Hewitt, Helen Thomas, George Will, Ben Bradlee, Bernard Shaw and Roone Arledge, just to name a few.
Cronkite presented the first award in 1984 to two CBS legends who played influential roles in his extraordinary career: William Paley, founder of CBS, and Frank Stanton, longtime CBS president. The Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees select the recipients of the annual Cronkite Award.
The Cronkite Award presentation at the annual Cronkite Luncheon has become one of the biggest and most anticipated events in the Phoenix metropolitan area each year, with leaders from the worlds of media, politics, business and education joining Cronkite School students and faculty. About 1,000 people attend each year.
Recipients of the Cronkite Award (with their positions at the time of the award) include:
2019 Lester Holt, anchor, "NBC Nightly News" and "Dateline NBC"
2018 Anderson Cooper, anchor, “Anderson Cooper 360”
2017 Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill, co-anchors and managing editors, “PBS NewsHour”
2016 Scott Pelley, anchor and managing editor, "CBS Evening News"
2014 Robin Roberts, anchor, "Good Morning America"
2013 Bob Schieffer, moderator, "Face the Nation"
2012 Bob Costas, host, “Football Night in America”
2011 Christiane Amanpour, anchor, “This Week with Christiane Amanpour”
2010 Diane Sawyer, anchor, “World News with Diane Sawyer”
2009 Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor, "NBC Nightly News"
2008 Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer, longtime PBS news anchors of “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report”
2007 Jane Pauley, former anchor of NBC’s “Today Show” and founding co-host of “Dateline NBC”
2006 Tom Brokaw, former anchor, “NBC Nightly News”
2005 Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist of The Miami Herald
2004 Charles Osgood, host of “The Osgood Files” and “CBS News Sunday Morning”
2003 Andy Rooney, “60 Minutes” correspondent
2002 Al Michaels, sportscaster, ABC Sports
2001 Bob Woodward, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Washington Post
2000 Cokie Roberts, ABC News correspondent
1999 Tom Johnson, president of CNN
1998 Ben Bradlee, executive editor of The Washington Post
1997 Roone Arledge, chairman of ABC News
1996 Charles Kuralt, former host of “On the Road” and “CBS News Sunday Morning”
1995 Bill Moyers, PBS host and producer
1994 Bernard Shaw, CNN anchor
1993 Helen Thomas, White House bureau chief of United Press International
1992 Don Hewitt, creator and executive producer of “60 Minutes”
1991 George Will, Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist and author
1990 Ted Turner, chairman and president of Turner Broadcasting System and founder of CNN
1989 Malcolm Forbes, publisher and editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine
1988 Allen H. Neuharth, chairman of Gannett Co. and founder of USA TODAY
1987 Katharine Graham, chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co.
1986 Otis Chandler, publisher of the Los Angeles Times
1985 Bill Mauldin, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist
1984 William Paley, founder of CBS, and Frank Stanton, former president of CBS