Thomas John Brokaw is a retired American television journalist and author. He was the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News for 22 years. He is the only person to have hosted all three major NBC News programs: The Today Show, NBC nightly News, and, briefly, Meet the Press. In 2014, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
About Tom Brokaw in brief
Thomas John Brokaw is a retired American television journalist and author. He was the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News for 22 years. He is the only person to have hosted all three major NBC News programs: The Today Show, NBC nightly News, and, briefly, Meet the Press. He now serves as a special correspondent for NBC News and works on documentaries for other outlets. Along with his competitors Peter Jennings at ABC News and Dan Rather at CBS News, he was one of the \”Big Three\” news anchors in the U.S. during the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. The three hosted their networks’ flagship nightly news programs for over 20 years, and all three started and retired from the anchor chair with Dan Rather notably being fired from CBS due to false reports broadcast on 60 Minutes II within a year of each other. In 1966, he joined NBC News, reporting from Los Angeles and anchoring the news for KSB-TV. In 1973, NBC made him White House correspondent, covering the Watergate scandal. In 1976, he became host of NBC’s Today Show’s Saturday editions and remained in the job until 1981. While living in California before Nixon made his political comeback, he kept a closely guarded secret for many years, having been offered – and promptly turned down – the press secretary position in the White House in 1969 – having promptly turned it down. He has written several books on American history and society in the 20th century. In 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, and he later donated his papers to the University’s Libraries.
In 2014, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was awarded to him by President Barack Obama in 2014. His father was a descendant of Huguenot immigrants Bourgon and Catherine Broucard, and his mother was Irish-American. His paternal great-grandfather, Richard P. Brokaws, founded the town of Bristol, South Dakota, and the BrokAW House, a small hotel and the first structure in Bristol. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He later became an Advisory Board member of the Joe Foss Institute. He joked that the honorary degree is especially coveted because it helps to make up for the uneven performance of my freshman year. He was named for his maternal great- grandfather, Thomas Conley, who was a construction foreman for the Army Corps of Engineers. He worked at the Black Hills Ordnance Depot and helped construct Fort Randall Dam; his job often required the family to resettle throughout South Dakota during Brokawi’s early childhood. He went on to become governor of South Dakota American Legion Boys State, and in that capacity he accompanied then-South Dakota Governor Joe Foss to New York City for a joint appearance on a TV game show. It was to be the beginning of a long relationship with Foss, whom he later feature in his book about World War II veterans, The Greatest Generation.