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Tom Brokaw - Biography

Born in Webster, South Dakota, on February 6, 1940, Thomas John Brokaw spent his childhood in a variety of places before his family settled in Yankton. After his graduation from that town´s high school, he went to the University of Iowa for one year and then transferred to the University of South Dakota, where he majored in Political Science and worked as a radio reporter. In the same year that he graduated from the university, 1962, he married Meredith Lynn Auld, a former Miss South Dakota.

Tom Brokaw began his television career at KTIV in Sioux City, Iowa, went from there to KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska, and then moved on to WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1966 he joined NBC News, reporting from California, and in 1973 he became an NBC News White House Correspondent. He remained in that position for three years, covering the Watergate Scandal. In 1976 he took over as host of NBC´s Today show, and then in 1981, he began to co-anchor NBC´s Nightly News along with Roger Mudd, eventually becoming the show´s sole anchor in 1983.

His career has been filled with remarkable achievements. He has covered every presidential election since 1968 and moderated several debates among the candidates; he conducted the first one-on-one American TV interview with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 and followed it up in later years with similar interviews involving Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov and Russian President Vladimir Putin; he anchored The Brokaw Report series of prime-time specials; he co-hosted a prime-time news magazine called Now with Katie Couric; he reported from places all over the globe, from the NBC studios in New York City to the site of the Oklahoma City bombing, from the streets of London and Paris to the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq

By the late 1990´s Tom Brokaw´s Nightly News had taken first place among the evening news broadcasts, and it held that place until its anchor´s retirement in 2004. That retirement had been announced two years earlier, and finally on December 1, 2004, Tom Brokaw made his last Nightly News broadcast, ending it with a gracious tip of the hat to Brian Williams, his successor.

His books include two tributes to the Americans who came of age in the Great Depression and fought World War II, The Greatest Generation and The Greatest Generation Speaks. He has received scores of prestigious awards and honors, including numerous Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, induction into the Television Academy Hall of Fame, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, and he holds honorary degrees from nine colleges and universities.

Tom Brokaw and his wife have three daughters. The couple lives in New York and Montana.