40th recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, David Muir

‘ABC World News Tonight’ anchor David Muir to receive 40th Cronkite Award

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023


David Muir, the award-winning anchor and managing editor of “ABC World News Tonight with David Muir,” will receive the 40th Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, Arizona State University officials announced today.

Muir, who is also co-anchor of ABC’s “20/20,” will be recognized during the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism luncheon on Feb. 8, 2024, at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown. Registration is now open for the Cronkite Award luncheon.  

“David Muir is one of the most prolific journalists of this generation. He has made a global impact with his ability to hold powerful world leaders accountable and highlight issues that engage a worldwide audience,” said Cronkite School Dean Battinto L. Batts Jr. “His work exemplifies the core principles that Walter Cronkite valued, and we’re honored to present him with this award.”

The Cronkite Award — named after the late CBS News anchor — has honored prominent journalists and media executives since 1984. The award recognizes the recipients’ accomplishments and leadership over the course of their careers. 

Past Cronkite Award recipients include award-winning anchor and co-host Gayle King; weatherman and anchor Al Roker; TV news anchors Lester Holt, Robin Roberts, Anderson Cooper, Scott Pelley, Christiane Amanpour, Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill; sportscasters Al Michaels and Bob Costas; newspaper journalists Dean Baquet, Ben Bradlee, Helen Thomas and Bob Woodward; and media executives Katharine Graham, Al Neuharth and William Paley.

“Walter Cronkite famously guided this country through some of the most trying moments in modern U.S. history and he did so by trusting his own compass, his deep commitment to journalism and the truth, and his willingness, in the darkest of times, to share his own humanity,” Muir said. “To be honored in Cronkite’s name, is not only deeply humbling, it’s a call for us all to live up to those standards especially when they’re needed most.”

Muir has conducted exclusive interviews with several world leaders, including the last three U.S. Presidents. He has also reported on major events and crises from across the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Ukraine, Tahrir Square, Mogadishu, Gaza, Guantanamo, Fukushima, Beirut, Amman and the Syrian border. 

Muir traveled to Kyiv last year to interview Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the beginning of Ukraine’s counter-offensive and was also the first American anchor to interview Zelenskyy after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

In February, he interviewed President Joe Biden twice, including in Warsaw, Poland, where Biden discussed U.S. support for Ukraine. Muir made major headlines in 2021 when he pressed Biden on whether the U.S. was prepared for the COVID surge. He also held the first joint interview with Biden and current Vice President Kamala Harris weeks before the 2020 election.

In 2017, Muir conducted the first interview with newly-elected President Donald Trump at the White House and was the first network anchor to interview Trump during the COVID-19 pandemic. Muir also moderated multiple Democratic and Republican presidential primary debates and interviewed presidential candidates. 

His other notable interviews include Iranian President Hassan Rouhani after the U.S. pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal; an exclusive with then-President Barack Obama during the president’s historic trip to Cuba; and moderating the first ever Vatican town hall, “Pope Francis and the People,” with Pope Francis.

In addition, Muir has reported numerous in-depth specials for ABC News. He traveled to South Sudan and southern Madagascar to highlight how climate change was affecting famine in those regions. His reporting earned the George Polk award and raised a record $9 million for the World Food Programme. 

Muir won an Emmy for “The Children of Auschwitz,” which documented Holocaust survivors who returned to Poland 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz. His special, “Return to Normandy,” profiled World War II veterans who traveled back to France 75 years after storming the beaches of Normandy.

Prior to joining ABC News, Muir worked as an award-winning reporter and anchor at WCVB-TV in Boston and for WTVH-TV in his hometown of Syracuse, New York. He graduated magna cum laude from Ithaca College and attended the Fund for American Studies’ Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University. He also studied at the University of Salamanca in Spain.