CLASS OF 1994
Tom Brokaw, while anchor and managing editor of the NBC Nightly News, was equally at ease covering the convulsive changes in world capitals and monitoring the heartbeat of America in small town and inner cities of the United States for nearly a half-century. His beginnings in the business took place in the Great Plains.
Tom Brokaw got his first full-time job in news at KMTV Omaha in 1962. News Director Mark Gautier after a three-hour interview hired him as a reporter and photographer for 100 dollars a week,. It was higher than for most reporters in the day because, Gautier said, “he was taken by Brokaw’s awareness of the world.”
Brokaw came from Yankton, South Dakota, where he worked at radio KYNT when he was 15. While attending the University of South Dakota he worked at KTIV-TV in Sioux City. At KMTV Brokaw was soon the morning editor and newscaster doing news cut-ins during the NBC Today Show, the Noon News, while continuing to work as a reporter on his own initiative. His wife Meredith taught English at Central High School while they were in Omaha.
His rise in the news business was swift. NBC already had an eye on him when he left Omaha in 1965 for an anchor position at WSB TV Atlanta. A year later he was anchorman for KNBC TV Los Angeles, a stepping stone to the network. His resume continued to build as an NBC News correspondent based in Washington, D.C. in 1973 and newsman/co-host on the Today Show by 1976. He reached the pinnacle, the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, in 1983.
Brokaw has received numerous awards for his work, including two Emmys.
In 2021 Brokaw announced his retirement closing the curtain on his half-century-long career chronicling some of the most tumultuous times in U.S. history.