Forrest Sawyer (born April 19, 1949) is an American broadcast journalist. Sawyer worked 11 years with ABC News, where he frequently anchored ABC World News Tonight and Nightline and reported for all ABC News broadcasts. He anchored the award-winning prime-time newsmagazines "Day One" and "Turning Point" He recorded exclusives from all over the globe, and earned numerous awards for his reports and documentaries, including Emmy Awards in 1992, 1993, and 1994. He left ABC News in 1999 to become a news anchor for both NBC and its cable counterpart, MSNBC, where he was a regular substitute for Brian Williams as anchor for The News with Brian Williams. He left NBC News in 2005 to become founder and president of Freefall Productions, where he produces documentaries and serves as a media strategist and guest lecturer.
April 19, 1949|
Lakeland, Florida, United States
|Education||B.A. in Eastern Philosophy and World Religion and M.A. in Education, University of Florida|
WAGA-TV news anchor (1980-1985) |
CBS Morning News anchor (1985-1987)
ABC News and NBC News anchor
Sawyer was born and reared in Lakeland, Florida, where he graduated from Kathleen High School. He was a member of Alpha Tau Omega at the University of Florida, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Eastern Philosophy and World Religions and a Master's degree in Education.
After starting in radio, Sawyer was invited to host a program called "World in Review" broadcast statewide on Georgia's Public Television Network. World events in the news each week were looked at in depth by a panel of academic experts. The news director of Atlanta's CBS outlet saw how talented Forrest Sawyer was and hired him. Forrest was still full-time at his radio job. Sawyer moved into commercial television with Atlanta's WAGA-TV, a CBS affiliate (currently a Fox owned-and-operated station) from 1980 to 1985. While at WAGA, he shared a Peabody Award in 1982, for Paradise Saved, a documentary on Cumberland Island. Sawyer, Don Smith, and photographer George Gentry were cited for a documentary in which viewers were "treated to a quality of visual beauty not often seen on television and, at the same time, were informed, enlightened, and challenged concerning the problems of retaining a great natural heritage and a diminishing resource—the unspoiled beauty of the Atlantic Coast."
From August 1985 to August 1986, Sawyer and Maria Shriver were anchors of The CBS Morning News. Sawyer stayed with CBS until 1987. He joined ABC in 1988 as anchorman of ABC World News This Morning and also hosted "World News Sunday" and "Day One." He hosted Justice Files on The Discovery Channel in the early 1990s. Sawyer filed the first in-depth network report on the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, was the first reporter to gain access to the KGB's files on Lee Harvey Oswald, and filed history's first live television report from a battlefield during the First Gulf War. Sawyer also served as a regular substitute anchor on the ABC News programs World News Tonight and Nightline before leaving ABC and joining NBC.
In addition to his Peabody Award, he has received a total of seven National Emmy Awards, two Sigma Delta Chi Awards, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, an Associated Press Award, an Ohio State Award, an Ark Award and two American Psychological Association Awards.
He was a guest speaker at the American Association of Community Colleges Conference in Long Beach, CA, during April 2006 and was keynote speaker on May 11, 2007 at the University of California, Santa Barbara, at a conference titled, "The Future of Multi-Media Digital News and Cultural Networks."
In late 2007, while filming a documentary in Tanzania, Sawyer survived a helicopter crash in which he suffered a serious knee injury before hiking miles with other survivors to safety. His recent media appearances include anchoring the July 19, 2008 edition of the CBS Evening News. and reporting the 2009 Frontline documentary "Ten Trillion and Counting," a journey through the politics behind the national debt.
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- "Serial Killers." Justice Files. Exec. Prod. Rudy Bednar, Sheila Sitomer, Peter W. Kunhardt, and Dyllan McGee. Hst. Forrest Sawyer. The Discovery Channel. 10 Mar. 1993.
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- "The Future of Multi-Media Digital News and Cultural Networks". Center for Film, Television, & New Media at University of California, Santa Barbara. 2007-05-11. Archived from the original on 2008-03-28.
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