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Cronkite School to Welcome Scott Pelley of ‘60 Minutes’ as Spring Kickoff to “Must See Mondays” Series

January 8, 2020
Scott Pelley

Scott Pelley speaks to students during a visit to the Cronkite School.

Scott Pelley, an award-winning journalist and correspondent on “60 Minutes,” will visit the Cronkite School January 13 to discuss his accomplished career and his new book, “Truth Worth Telling: A Reporter’s Search for Meaning in the Stories of Our Times.”

His visit will be the spring kickoff to the school’s “Must See Mondays” series, which invites noteworthy guests to speak with Cronkite students inside the school’s First Amendment Forum. The former “CBS Evening News” anchor will host a book signing after the discussion, which runs from 5-6 p.m.

“Each week we bring top media leaders to our First Amendment Forum to enable our students, faculty and the wider Phoenix community to hear from thought leaders about the most critical topics facing the news media – and our democracy,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “We are honored to be able to kick off the 2020 speakers’ series with Scott Pelley, one of the most thoughtful and influential journalists of our era.”

Pelley’s book details exchanges he had while covering events of national and global significance, including the 9/11 attacks, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and presidential elections. The book also includes his enthusiastic support for free speech and a free press, an issue he addressed while accepting the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Cronkite School in 2016.

“There is no democracy without journalism,” Pelley said during the luncheon held in his honor as he received the Cronkite Award. “And, the quality of our democracy is bound tightly to the quality of our journalism.”

Pelley has been a reporter and photographer for more than 45 years, the bulk of which he spent with CBS as a correspondent, a “CBS Evening News” anchor and a “60 Minutes” mainstay. His work has been recognized with 37 Emmy Awards, three Peabody Awards and three duPont-Columbia Awards.

Born a Texan, Pelley began his journalism career at a young age, serving as a copyboy for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal as a teenager. He studied journalism at Texas Tech University, and worked in three Texas markets, before joining the CBS network in 1989.

Pelley’s career has included reporting on war, politics, climate change, economic crises and immigration, among other issues. He earned an Emmy Award for conducting a difficult-to-secure interview with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and he landed the only interview with one of the Navy SEALs involved with the Osama bin Laden raid.