Presidential Lecture Series

Dan Rather

Recognition Year: 
2016-17

Award-Winning Broadcast Journalist

January 31, 2017

7 p.m. Lecture
Wright State Nutter Center

5:30 p.m. Public Reception
Wright State Nutter Center

Co-sponsored with Honors Institute

For more than 50 years, former CBS News anchor and 60 Minutes correspondent Dan Rather has been the embodiment of the intrepid broadcast journalist. From the Kennedy assassination—where he was the first to break the news that the president had been killed—to the Indian Ocean tsunami, he has covered every major story of our time with distinction and a fierce dedication to hard news. For his unparalleled devotion to his craft, he was named the 2012 recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Rather’s datelines have been as far-ranging as Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, China, Russia, and Cuba. He was the last reporter on the air when the Chinese Army moved in with force during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest. He has interviewed Mikhail Gorbachev in Red Square and Fidel Castro in Cuba.

On the domestic front, Rather has covered every presidential campaign since 1952. He was White House correspondent for CBS News during the administrations of Presidents Johnson and Nixon. During the 1960s, as chief of the CBS southwest bureau, he reported on the Civil Rights struggle in the South.

He stayed on the air for 18 consecutive hours following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Rather was the first American network anchor to report from Iraq after the fall of Baghdad. He broke the shocking story in 2004 of the Abu Ghraib prison abuses, for which he was recognized in 2005 with the prestigious Peabody and Sigma Delta Chi awards. In 2011, he received the CPJ Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for his work as an original supporter in defending independent reporting.

After leaving CBS News, Rather pioneered a cable news magazine program that produced more than 300 hours of award-winning news and documentary programming. His production company has developed projects that include an interview program, documentaries, and digital video content.

Most recently, Rather was played by Robert Redford in the critically acclaimed drama Truth, released in theatres in October 2015.

Rather is a prolific author, having written, co-written, or contributed to several books. His entertaining memoir, Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News, was published in 2012.