Anchor, NBC Nightly News (1982-2004)
Jim Lehrer was born in Wichita, Kansas on May 19, 1934. He graduated from the University of Missouri in 1956 with a Bachelor in Journalism before joining the Marine Corps. From 1959 to 1966, he was a reporter for The Dallas Morning News and then the Dallas Times-Herald. He was also a political columnist at the Times-Herald for several years and in 1968 became the city editor. Lehrer's newspaper career led him to public television, first in Dallas, as KERA-TV's executive director of public affairs, on-air host and editor of a nightly news program. He subsequently moved to Washington, DC, to serve as the public affairs coordinator for PBS, and was also a member of PBS's Journalism Advisory Board and a fellow at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Lehrer went on to join the National Public Affairs Center for Television (NPACT) as a correspondent, teaming up with Robert MacNeil to provide NPACT's continuous live coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings, broadcast on PBS. He was the solo anchor for PBS coverage of the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment inquiry of Richard Nixon. Lehrer was executive editor and news anchor for the PBS NewsHour for over 30 years. He was known for his role as debate moderator during U.S. presidential election campaigns, moderating twelve presidential debates between 1988 and 2012. He has been honored with numerous awards for journalism, has won two Emmys and was the author of 20 novels, two memoirs, three plays, and a non-fiction work. Lehrer passed away on January 23, 2020.
"You hear the siren you say, 'Is it a fire engine or is it a police car or is it an ambulance? Where's it going?' And if you don't care what it is and where it's going then you shouldn't be in journalism."