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Dan Rather is the former Anchor and Managing Editor of the CBS Evening News.
Since 1962, when Dan Rather first joined CBS News, he 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 earned him a position of respect among his peers and the public.
Often referred to as "the hardest working man in broadcast journalism," Rather lived up to the description, immersed in two major broadcasts, the CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes II. His recently published seventh book, "The American Dream", chronicles the stories of a wide cross-section of Americans, describing how they achieved their versions of the American dream.
In 2002 and 2003, the war on terrorism took him to Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Israel. In February 2003, Rather secured the most sought-after interview in the world: an exclusive one-on-one with Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, the first the Iraqi leader conducted with an American journalist since 1991.
Dan Rather also reported from Kabul on the United States’ effort to oust the Taliban and from Jerusalem and the West Bank during the largest Israeli military action in two decades. He gained special notice for his live anchoring of CBS News’ coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks and his around-the-clock reporting in the days that followed. In the weeks after 9/11, Rather filed reports from Ground Zero and on the attacks’ aftermath in New York and the nation for the prime time news magazine 48 Hours.
In 2000, Rather traveled to Moscow to cover the Russian elections and then to Israel as the peace process there took a turn for the worse. Later in the year, he anchored Election Night 2000, a marathon that kept him on the air continuously from 6:00 PM on Tuesday, Nov. 7, to 10:00 AM on Wednesday, Nov. 8. During the time that the presidential race was undecided, Rather interviewed both candidates on how each felt about the stalemate in Florida. At the end of the year, Rather was the first anchor to be granted President Clinton's exit interview as he prepared to leave the White House.
In addition to reporting on major events, ranging from the Pope's visit to Cuba in January 1998 to the Monica Lewinsky scandal to the impeachment of President Clinton by the House of Representatives in February 1999, Rather was on the scene in New Orleans when Hurricane George struck the Gulf Coast in September 1998.
In May of 1997, Rather returned to his roots in two ways: he conducted a rare interview with playwright Horton Foote, a fellow native of Wharton, Texas, for CBS News Sunday Morning, and he launched a syndicated weekly newspaper column, "Part of Our World"—now “Dan Rather Reporting” —harking back to his early days in journalism as a print reporter.
In June of that year, Rather traveled to Hong Kong to anchor CBS News' coverage of the colony's turnover to Chinese rule after traveling by train deep into the Chinese heartland of boomtowns and rice paddies, recalling his previous reports from China on events ranging from President Richard M. Nixon's historic visit in 1972 to the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
In October 1994, Dan Rather was honored by his alma mater, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, which named its journalism and communications building after him.
Rather is a prolific writer. In addition to "The American Dream", he is the author of "Deadlines and Datelines", published in 1999, "The Camera Never Blinks Twice: The Further Adventures of a Television Journalist" (1994), "I Remember" (1991), "The Camera Never Blinks" (1977) and "The Palace Guard" (1974). He also abridged Mark Sullivan's landmark popular history, "Our Times: America at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century". He continues to be a much-sought-after contributor to many of the top newspapers and magazines in the country and speaks out frequently on journalistic ethics.
Since the start of his career in 1950, Dan Rather has been in the middle of the world's defining moments. From Nov. 22, 1963 in Dallas, when he kept the American people informed of the details of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, to Beijing, Bosnia, Haiti and Hong Kong decades later, he has covered most of the world's major news stories. His 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 Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award and citations from critical, scholarly, professional and charitable organizations.