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Award-Winning Journalist, Best-Selling Author Tom Brokaw Comes to OU

OU Welcomes Tom Brokaw, Award-Winning Journalist, Best-Selling Author

OU welcomes Tom Brokaw to campus Feb. 26. The best-selling author and award-winning journalist delivered OU's commencement address in 2004.

NORMAN – Tom Brokaw, special correspondent for NBC NEWS and New York Times best-selling author, will discuss “Reflections on a Journalist’s Life and Expectations for the Future of Media” at a luncheon at the University of Oklahoma on Thursday, Feb. 26.

Brokaw will be honored with the Gaylord Prize for Excellence in Journalism and Mass Communication. The award is made possible through an endowment established by the Edward L. Gaylord family.

“Tom Brokaw is a worthy role model for the journalism students at the university and for practicing journalists around the world,” said OU President David L. Boren. “His writing and reporting have met the highest standards of excellence and his personal integrity is beyond question.”

Brokaw has traveled the globe, reporting on some of the most complex news stories of the times, including elections, summits, political turmoil, wars, the climate crisis and major news stories of every description.

He has spent his entire distinguished journalistic career with NBC beginning in 1966 in Los Angeles where he covered Ronald Reagan’s first run for public office, the rise of the Sixties counterculture, the assassination of Robert Kennedy and the 1968 presidential campaign.

From Los Angeles, Brokaw went to Washington, D.C. as the White House correspondent during Watergate and as the principal backup for John Chancellor on the NBC Nightly News.

Brokaw then went to New York and TODAY, followed by his appointment as anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, a position he held for two decades.

He assumed the responsibilities for Meet the Press for the 2008 campaign when his close friend and colleague Tim Russert died.

Brokaw has an impressive list of firsts, including the first interview with Mikhail Gorbachev; the first network report on human rights abuses in Tibet accompanied by an exclusive interview with the Dalai Lama; and the only American network anchor to report from Berlin the night the Berlin Wall came down.

In addition to his daily news gathering responsibilities, Brokaw has reported on more than 30 documentaries covering subjects ranging from AIDS, Los Angeles gangs, race, education, medicine, immigration and global warming.

Brokaw also is a popular essayist for publications ranging from The New York Times to Rolling Stone and a wide assortment of other periodicals and newspapers.

In 1998 he published his first book, The Greatest Generation, one of the most popular non-fiction books of the 20th century. He followed with five other books, including BOOM! Voices of the Sixties and his most recent book, The Time of Our Lives: A Conversation About America, in which he discusses the challenges facing the United States in the new millennium and offers reflections on how to restore greatness in America.

Brokaw has won every major award in his craft, including the Peabody, duPonts, Emmys and lifetime achievement recognition. In November, President Barack Obama awarded Brokaw the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.

In 2004, Brokaw delivered the commencement address to OU’s graduating class and was awarded an honorary degree.

Limited seating is available by reservation for OU students, faculty and staff, with overflow seating available to the public. For reservations, more information and accommodations on the basis of disability, please call the OU Office of Public Affairs at (405) 325-3784.