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Since 1962, when Dan Rather joined CBS News, he has handled some of the most challenging assignments in journalism. His day-to-day commitment to substantive, fair, and accurate news reporting and his tough, active style have cemented for him a position of unrivaled respect among his peers and the public.
In 1997, Rather marked the 16th anniversary of his tenure as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News. Election Year '96 presented Rather at the peak of his legendary style as he covered his 11th national election campaign.
In June 1996, Rather traveled to Moscow to report on the first round of Russian elections. He made two trips to the front lines in Bosnia in late 1995, reporting on American peacekeeping troops there. The conflict in the former Yugoslavia has been a priority for Rather, who first reported from the region a quarter of a century ago. His trips since the war began have yielded unparalleled access to the political and military leaders of this bloody struggle, as well as the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.
October 1995 found Rather once more literally in the eye of the storm, reporting on Hurricane Opal as it approached the Florida shore while two producers "anchored the anchor," clinging to his arms and legs during ferociously high winds. In November, he reported on the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin from Jerusalem. Rather's reports on a stunned and mourning nation inevitably recalled his reports from Dallas in the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy's death. Rather was the only American anchor on-site at Rabin's funeral.
Also in 1995, he covered the 50th anniversary of V-E Day from London, and then followed President Bill Clinton to Russia to cover the Moscow summit.
Rather made incisive contributions to fou CBS Reports documentaries: "In the Killing Fields of America," "Victory in Japan," with retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, "The Religious Right," and "The Gulf War," a sober assessment of the victories and losses of the war against Iraq. He also contributed to the first CBS News broadcast on the Smithsonian Institution, at one point dropping miles beneath the sea to study the ocean floor.
Rather began 1994 with a January trip to eastern Europe for reports on the rise of neo-fascism in the former Soviet bloc, on the civil war in the Georgian Republic, and on President Clinton's first Russian summit, before boarding a plane to inspect the Los Angeles earthquake. He spent most of April in South Africa, covering that country's first attempt at true democracy and interviewing candidates of all the major parties in the elections.
He also went to the Middle East just before the Palestinians moved into Gaza and the West Bank and conducted interviews with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Rather was the only network anchor on the scene before and during the crisis in Haiti. He was in the thick of the action, scoring several exclusive interviews with Haiti's military leader, Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras.
Author Rather's latest book is an abridgment of Mark Sullivan's landmark popular history, Our Times: America at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century. His memoir, The Camera Never Blinks Twice: The Further Adventures of a Television Journalist, has been released in paperback. Rather also is the author of The Camera Never Blinks (1977), I Remember (1991), and The Palace Guard (1974).
In June 1997, he opened another chapter in his career as a writer: weekly newspaper columnist. His column, entitled "Part of Our World," is distributed by King Features Syndicate to papers across the country, and provides additional focus on people and stories in the news.
Rather speaks out frequently on journalistic ethics. In October 1994, he was honored by his alma mater, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, which named its journalism and communications building after him.
Rather has interviewed every United States president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Bill Clinton, and international leaders as diverse as Nelson Mandela and Boris Yeltsin. In 1990, he was the first American journalist to interview Saddam Hussein after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
Since the start of his career in 1950, Rather has been in the middle of America's, and the world's, defining moments. From November 22, 1963 in Dallas, when Rather worked around the clock to keep the American people informed of the details of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, to the 1968 Democratic NationaConvention, to Beijing, Bosnia, and Haiti more than two decades later, he has covered most of the major news stories in the world. Rather's reporting on the civil rights movement in the South, the White House, the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, and Yugoslavia, and the quest for peace in South Africa and the Middle East, has showcased his combination of street smarts and astute analysis.
He has received virtually every honor in broadcast journalism, including numerous Emmys and citations from critical, scholarly, professional, and charitable organizations. He is regularly cited as "best anchor" in opinion surveys. He recently received the Peabody award for his CBS Reports documentary "Vietnam: A Soldier Returns."
During his 35 years with CBS News, Rather has held many prestigious positions, ranging from co-editor of 60 Minutes to anchor of CBS Reports and anchor of the weekend and weeknight editions of the CBS Evening News. He has served as CBS News bureau chief in London and Saigon, and as White House correspondent during the Johnson and Nixon administrations.
He continues to anchor and report for 48 Hours and is a regular contributor to CBS News Radio, including Dan Rather Reporting, his weekday broadcast of news and analysis which has aired on the CBS Radio network since March 9, 1981.
Rather joined CBS News in 1962 as chief of its Southwest bureau in Dallas. In 1963, he was appointed chief of the Southern bureau in New Orleans, responsible for coverage of news events in the South, Southwest, Mexico, and Central America. During that time, he reported on Southern racial conflicts and the crusade of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On November 22, 1963 in Dallas, he broke the news of the death of President John F. Kennedy.
Rather began his career in journalism in 1950 as an Associated Press reporter in Huntsville, Texas. Later, he was a reporter for United Press International (1950-52), KSAM Radio in Huntsville (1950-53), KTRH Radio in Houston, and The Houston Chronicle (1954-55). He became news director of KTRH in 1956 and a reporter for KTRK-TV Houston in 1959. Prior to joining CBS News, Rather was news director for KHOU-TV, the CBS affiliate in Houston.
He was born October 31, 1931 in Wharton, Texas. In 1953, he received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Sam Houston State Teachers College, where he spent the following year as a journalism instructor. He also attended the University of Houston and the South Texas School of Law.
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