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Thomas Edwin "Tom" Jarriel (pronounced "Jair-ell," with a silent "i"; born December 29, 1934) is a retired American television news reporter who worked for the ABC network from 1964 to 2002.

Thomas Edwin "Tom" Jarriel
Born (1934-12-29) December 29, 1934 (age 84)
Alma materC.E. Byrd High School
University of Houston
OccupationJournalist with KPRC-TV and ABC News
Years active1956-2002
Political partyDemocratic[1]
Spouse(s)Joan B. Jarriel
ChildrenMichael Thomas Jarriel
Stephen L. Jarriel
Jeffrey David Jarriel
Parent(s)William Lester and Ella Ruth Jarriel

Jarriel's parents were the late William Lester Jarriel, Sr., and Ella Ruth Jarriel. They had six children, including Tom. In 1947, the family moved to Shreveport, where Jarriel graduated in 1952 from C.E. Byrd High School. In 1956, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Houston. He first worked at television station KPRC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Houston. In 1965, Jarriel joined ABC, first based at the network's southern bureau in Atlanta, Georgia. While there, he attracted national notice for his coverage of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Shortly afterward, he became White House correspondent for ABC, during the administrations of U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Later, in 1977, Jarriel co-anchored ABC Evening News on Saturdays for two years, and in 1979, joined the network's newsmagazine 20/20, as an investigative correspondent. On that show and on several hour-long documentaries, he covered subjects such as the defects in the American criminal justice system, wasteful spending by the United States Department of Defense, and transportation accidents. He received several[quantify]Emmy Awards for his work.[citation needed]

During most of that time, Jarriel anchored the 15-minute bulletins ABC aired late nights on Saturday and Sunday, until those broadcasts were cancelled in 1991; he was also the most frequent anchor of the daytime ABC News Brief updates that aired during the era. He also served as substitute anchor on World News Tonight.

He retired from broadcasting in 2002.


  1. ^ "Tom Jarriel". Retrieved November 8, 2010.

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Media offices
Preceded by
Bill Gill
ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Succeeded by
Sam Donaldson