Lester Holt is an American broadcast journalist who serves as the anchor of "NBC Nightly News." He was the first black person to solo anchor a weekday network nightly newscast.
Holt dropped out of California State University in 1979 to work at a San Francisco radio station. Two years later he launched a 19-year career with CBS, beginning as a reporter for WCBS-TV in New York City. After one year there, he joined Los Angeles-based CBS affiliate TV station KNXT as a reporter and anchor. However, he returned to WCBS-TV in 1983, resuming work as a reporter and adding anchor duties. In 1986 Holt became the evening anchor for WBBM-TV, the CBS station in Chicago, where he remained until he left CBS in 2000 to join MSNBC. He contributed to the CBS News broadcast "48 Hours," earning a 1990 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for his work on "48 Hours: No Place Like Home."
Holt anchored "Lester Holt Live," a daily news show on MSNBC in which he covered breaking news and provided news updates and analysis. Holt has also served as the lead anchor for daytime news and breaking news coverage on MSNBC. Holt also served as anchor of "Countdown: Iraq," a nightly news telecast concentrating on the latest developments surrounding the war with Iraq, from October 2002 through March 2003.
In 2003 he reported from the Kuwait/Iraqi border as US forces prepared to launch their invasion of Iraq. In early 2010, Holt traveled to Haiti where he reported on the immediate aftermath and response to the devastating earthquake. In March 2011, Holt traveled overseas to cover the earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan. Holt was also among the early wave of reporters to cover the oil leak disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. He was in the same region in 2005 when both hurricanes Katrina and Rita came ashore.
He was named Principal Anchor of "Dateline" in September 2011. Holt served as the weekend anchor for the flagship broadcast "NBC Nightly News," and as the co-anchor of the weekend edition of "Today." He also contributed to MSNBC, NBC's 24-hour cable news network. In 2010, Holt was part of the "Today" anchor team that won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Morning Program. In addition, he served as fill-in anchor and correspondent for "NBC Nightly News" with Brian Williams before assuming the position of lead anchor in 2015, a role he has held since.
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