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Bill Whitaker

Correspondent, 60 Minutes

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Bill Whitaker was named a 60 Minutes correspondent in March 2014; the 2016-17 season will be his third on the broadcast. His timely interview with the police chief of the embattled Cleveland Division of police provided keen insight into the hot-button issue of race and policing in America. He also investigated the recent historic leak of information from Swiss banks.

Whitaker has been wide-ranging and prolific in his 60 Minutes reporting. In addition to domestic stories, he has reported from Asia, Africa, Europe, Mexico and the Middle East in his two seasons, including a timely interview with Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and an Emmy-winning story on the biggest data leak in Swiss banking history​. 

Domestically, his stories have provided keen insights into the hot-button issue of race and policing in America​, the death penalty in the U.S.​ and America’s heroin epidemic​.  He has chronicled the epic battle to capture and hold Mexico’s infamous drug lord Joaquin “el Chapo” Guzman​, gaining rare access to investigations on both sides of the border.

More than 60 percent of 60 Minutes broadcasts in the 2015-16 season contained segments reported by Whitaker.    

Before joining 60 Minutes, Whitaker covered virtually all of the major news stories in the West since he was posted to Los Angeles in 1992, reporting regularly for the CBS Evening News and other CBS News broadcasts. He also has worked for Sunday Morning, turning out feature stories and thoughtful profiles, including on Barbra Streisand, Norman Lear and Gladys Knight. One of his most memorable Sunday Morning profiles was of ex-boxer Mike Tyson. He has interviewed First Lady Michelle Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Whitaker frequently reported from overseas as well, covering the funeral of Nelson Mandela from South Africa.  He also did pieces from Japan on the Fukushima nuclear disaster and from Haiti after the tragic earthquake there. He reported from Kabul during the early stages of the War in Afghanistan.

In 2008, he covered Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. He was CBS News’ lead reporter covering the 2000 presidential campaign of George W. Bush.

Prior to his assignment to Los Angeles, Whitaker served as CBS News’ Tokyo correspondent (1989-92). There, he covered stories throughout Asia, including the pro-democracy uprising in Tiananmen Square, military coup attempts in the Philippines and the enthronement of Japan’s Emperor Akihito. He was in Baghdad for the build-up to Desert Storm.

Before that, Whitaker was based in Atlanta (1985-88), where he won an Emmy for his reports on the collapse of Jim and Tammy Bakker’s television ministry and covered the 1988 presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis. Whitaker joined CBS News as a reporter in November 1984.

Previously, Whitaker was a correspondent for WBTV-TV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte, N.C. He began his broadcast journalism career at KQED-TV in San Francisco, where he was a producer, associate producer and researcher/writer.

Whitaker was born in Philadelphia on August, 26, 1951; he was graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a B.A. degree in American history and from Boston University with a master’s degree in African-American studies. Whitaker also attended the Master of Journalism program at the University of California, Berkeley. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1997.