Forrest Sawyer has long been recognized as one of the most experienced and credible broadcast journalists of our day.
Forrest Sawyer is an American broadcast journalist. Sawyer worked for 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 eventually left ABC News 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.
Sawyer was born and grew up 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 his bachelor's degree in Eastern philosophy and world religions and a master's degree in education.
After starting in radio, Sawyer moved into television with Atlanta's WAGA-TV, a CBS affiliate (currently a Fox owned-and-operated station) while he was there from 1980 to 1985. While at WAGA, Sawyer shared a Peabody Award in 1982, for "Paradise Saved," a documentary on Cumberland Island. He, 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 co-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."
Sawyer filed the first in-depth network report on the 1996 Mt. 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.
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.
Sawyer played himself as moderator in "The Debate," an episode of "The West Wing" that aired live and was dedicated solely to a debate between two fictitious presidential candidates.
In late 2007, while filming a documentary in Tanzania, he survived a helicopter crash. Sawyer rescued a Maasai villager from the wreckage, and, with an injured knee, carried another man several miles across a toxic lake to safety. His recent media appearances include anchoring the July 19, 2008 edition of the "CBS Evening News" and reporting in the 2009 Frontline documentary "Ten Trillion and Counting," -- a journey through the politics behind the national debt.
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