Randall Pinkston joined CBS News 1990. Since 1994, he has been a New York-based CBS News correspondent. He has been assigned to Newspath since February 2010, providing reports to CBS owned and operated stations and affiliates.
Pinkston has covered many major stories of the past decade for CBS News, including coverage of the Chilean earthquake, Tiger Woods' return to the Augusta National Golf Club: Masters Tournament, the first anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, the final launch of NASA's shuttle, Discovery, from the Kennedy Space Center, as well as, the post-war reconstruction of Iraq from Baghdad. He also has reported on the war in Afghanistan from the front lines in Tora Bora and Jalalabad, the devastating earthquake in Turkey, the Albanian refugee crisis in Kosovo and the U.S. military participation in the Balkans, Saddam Hussein's refusal to allow U.N. inspection officers to enter Iraq, the U.S. intervention in Haiti, the Susan Smith trial, during which he broke the story of her arrest and landed the first interview with her ex-husband, David Smith; the Freemen siege in Montana, and the Unabomber story.
Pinkston is the recipient of three national Emmy Awards and two for local news coverage. In 1996, he received an Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism and the Edward R. Murrow Award from the RTNDA for the documentary, "CBS Reports: Legacy of Shame." Pinkston served as the reporter. The broadcast was inspired by the landmark 1960 CBS documentary, "Harvest of Shame," with Edward R. Murrow. Pinkston also won Emmy Awards for coverage of the death of Princess Diana in 1998 and for coverage of the TWA Flight 800 disaster in 1997.
Prior to his New York assignment, he was based in the CBS News Washington, D.C. bureau (1990-94), where he joined the Network as a White House correspondent. The move to Washington was just one month before the start of the Persian Gulf war and almost immediately, Pinkston became a fixture on CBS This Morning and CBS Radio reporting on the war. He spent two years at the White House covering President George H. W. Bush, including many Presidential trips abroad. Pinkston broke the story of Bush's illness while dining with Japanese Prime Minister Miyazawa.
Before joining CBS News, he worked for WCBS-TV, the CBS Owned station in New York (1980-90). Pinkston was named its New Jersey correspondent in 1989. He won two Emmy Awards for his work there. Pinkston also covered politics, including the 1984 and '88 Jesse Jackson Presidential campaigns in New York, the l988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta and several major gubernatorial and Senatorial campaigns in New Jersey.
While at WCBS-TV, Pinkston was honored by the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association, the Council of Churches of the City of New York and the Scripps Howard Foundation for a series on the lack of government care for the mentally ill and physically handicapped. He received the Outstanding Journalist Award by Black Citizens of Fair Media in 1983 and the Public Service Award from the Greater New York Safety Council for his reporting on teen-age drunk driving, reports that helped set the stage for changes in the state's drunk driving laws.
Previously, Pinkston held several posts at WFSB TV, the CBS affiliate in Hartford, Conn., (1976-80), including reporter, anchor and producer of public affairs programs and specials. He also worked for WJXT TV, the CBS affiliate in Jacksonville, Fla. (1974-76), as urban affairs director, general assignment reporter and producer of a daily public affairs program.
Pinkston began his career in Jackson, Miss., as an anchor/reporter at WLBT TV (1971-74) and as an announcer at WJDX FM Radio (1969-71).
He was born in Yazoo County, Miss. Pinkston attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and participated in the Michele Clark Fellowship program at Columbia University. He was graduated from Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and from the University of Connecticut Law School in 1980 with a J.D. degree. Pinkston and his wife, Patricia McLain, live in Bergen County, N.J.