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Tom Brokaw, who anchored NBC’s nightly newscast for more than 20 years, will be this year’s recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, Arizona State University announced today.
Brokaw, who served as the network’s sole evening news anchor from 1983 through 2004, will be the 24th recipient of the award, given each year by ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
“I am delighted that we at ASU will be hosting Tom Brokaw on our campus as the recipient of the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism,” Cronkite said from his New York offices. “Even as we honor him, we shall be honored with the presence among us of this world-famous journalist.”
Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan said Brokaw is the ideal recipient for the 2006 award.
“Tom Brokaw was a news anchor in the Walter Cronkite mold - a great reporter who delivered the news to viewers across America in a clear, crisp and objective fashion,” Callahan said. "I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of the Cronkite Award.”
Cronkite will present the award to Brokaw on Nov. 14 at a luncheon in Phoenix.
Past Cronkite Award recipients include TV executives Ted Turner, Roone Arledge, William Paley and Frank Stanton; publishers Al Neuharth, Katharine Graham, Otis Chandler and Malcolm Forbes; television journalists Bill Moyers, Bernard Shaw, Cokie Roberts and Don Hewitt; and newspaper journalists Bob Woodward, Ben Bradlee, Helen Thomas and George Will.
A South Dakota native, Brokaw started his journalism career in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1962 after graduating from the University of South Dakota. In 1965 he moved to Atlanta to cover the civil rights movement, and joined NBC in Los Angeles the follow year. Later he became an NBC Washington correspondent, covering the White House during the Watergate era.
From 1976 to 1981 he anchored the “Today” show on NBC. He became co-anchor of the NBC newscast in April 1982 - just a year after Cronkite retired from his anchor chair - and took over as sole anchor in August 1983.
Brokaw retired from the anchor desk in December 2004, the first change of a Big 3 network news anchor in 20 years. CBS News anchor Dan Rather stepped down four months later and Peter Jennings anchored his last newscast the following month.
Brokaw is the recipient of two Alfred I. DuPont Awards, the George Foster Peabody Award, several Emmys and nine honorary degrees. He is the author of four books, including “The Greatest Generation,” “The Greatest Generation Speaks,” “An Album of Memories” and “A Long Way from Home: Growing Up in the American Heartland.”
The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication was named in honor of the former CBS Evening News anchor in 1984. The nationally recognized school, which offers professional programs on the undergraduate and master’s levels, annually ranks in the Top 10 of the Hearst intercollegiate journalism competition.