Tom Brokaw Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Hands down to one of the most respected and trusted figures of the United States. For two decades, Tom Brokaw has served as an NBC journalist. It was here that he covered topics such as the fall of the Berlin wall and Watergate. Tom’s charm and distinctive style turned him to rule the television news star during the 1980s and 90s century. His credibility was acknowledged in various films, books as well as television and radio invites. He followed it up with massive recognition and awards like two duPonts and Peabody Award. His noble heart gave him a chance to support several humanitarian works. Even then, his faith was tested when he added a cancer patient phrase in his life’s diary at 73 years old. But the said medical term didn’t haunt his nerves. In other words, Brokaw is destined to beat the normal life expectancy.
Early and Childhood Life
On February 6, 1940, Thomas John Brokaw was born in Webster, South Dakota, United States. He was the eldest son of three siblings to Eugenia Brokaw and Anthony Orville Brokaw. Tom took his grandfather’s name, Richard P. Brokaw who also named the Bristol town in South Dakota. Tom’s father served as a construction supervisor under Army Corps of Engineers. He partnered with other gurus where they completed a Fort Randall Dam construction. His work caused his family to move from one place to the other. The family moved to Bristol where they later settled in Yankton. It is here that Tom joined Yankton High School.
After several months Tom was selected as the governor of the American Legion Boys State of South Dakota. He befriended the South Dakota Governor, Joe Foss to NY where they appeared on a television show. This marked the beginning of great things that they planned together. Foss was later featured in Tom’s bestselling book titled The Greatest Generation.
Brokaw then joined the University of Lowa where he later moved to the University of South Dakota. Even though he passed through declines and trials, he graduated and then went to earn a B.A degree in Political Science.
Tom’s journalism interest began when he was at his youthful age. He loved to hear political and reporting news that made him sleep at wee hours of the night. This proved that he had a knack for a telecast. After graduation in 1964, Brokaw landed a broadcasting job at Sioux City in Iowa. His urge for greatness made him receive countless of offers in various news stations including the KMTV and Nebraska. He was then offered a $100 salary at KNTV new station which he accepted.
In the mid of 1965, Tom went to Atlanta where he covered the civil rights movements. He managed to cover a full story on Martin Luther King. At the same time, he served as an editor and anchor at KMTV. In the mid of 1966, he teamed up with the NBC News group in California. But he didn’t let go of his previous job. In 1973 he moved to Washington D.C where he worked as NBC’s White House correspondent. It is here that he covered the Watergate phase.
From 1976 to 1980 Tom continues to cover trending news including the Democratic and Republican convention in NBC. He also interviewed mentioned presidential candidates such as Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale. After few years of hard work, Brokaw was ranked to represent the NBC’s, Today Show. During his tenure, he managed to cover Ronald Regan’s campaign in 1980.He also interviewed prominent personnels such as Mikhail Gorbachev.
In 1983 Tom Brokaw was selected to anchor for the NBC Nightly News. It was at this time that he covered news such as Challenger disaster, EDSA Revolution, fall of the Berlin Wall and Hurricane Andrew. He became the first anchor to report the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1982.Before the autumn of 1987, Brokaw rose to fame as an important anchor. He then conducted a live interview with President Vladimir Putin. Before the end of the 1990s, he covered the sudden Oklahoma City bombing.
In the new millennium, Tom received a letter that had a Bacillus bacterium: anthrax. This also became part of 2001 anthrax invasion in the U.S. Luckily he wasn’t harmed, but his two colleagues got infected. Brokaw continued to cover warfare news that molded the world. He covered the Afghanistan and Iraq war as well as witnessing the NATO struggle with al-Qaeda's.
Early in 2004, Tom became the first anchor to report live from Normandy. It was here that he met President Jacques Chirac and President George W. Bush. The same year Brokaw stepped down from the NBC Nightly News at 64 years old. Brian Williams took his place.
After the end of his NBC service, Brokaw still serves as the board of directors under the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a member of the International Rescue Committee and Howard University School of Communication Board.
Tom Brokaw was diagnosed with multiple myeloma at 73 years old. In his book: A Lucky Life Interrupted explains how he will not shift into a lower gear, but sailing higher will be his notch plan. Even then, he passed through emotion and struggling stage that only he and his family can understand. Day by day, Brokaw is determined to share similar battles with other cancer survivors. Tom Brokaw married Meredith Lynn Auld; Miss South Dakota in 1962. They still enjoy a happily ever after marriage. The couple was later blessed with three daughters: Sarah, Jennifer, and Andrea.