Acclaimed Journalist Tom Brokaw to Give Baker Distinguished Lecture

BrokawPlease note that the location for this event has changed to the Alumni Memorial Building Cox Auditorium. Attendees who previously reserved tickets online will be contacted by the Baker Center about reserved seating in the new location.

Special correspondent for NBC News, author, and one of America’s best-known journalists, Tom Brokaw, will be at UT on November 13 to deliver the Baker Distinguished Lecture.

Brokaw will speak at 1:30 p.m. in the Alumni Memorial Building Cox Auditorium. Doors will open at 1:00 p.m. Presented by the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, the event is free and open to the public.

In addition, Brokaw will be the special guest at a fundraising luncheon to support the Baker Distinguished Lecture Series at 11:30 a.m. in the Toyota Auditorium of the Baker Center. Former Senators Howard Baker and Nancy Kassebaum Baker are also expected to attend the luncheon. Reservations are $150 per person or $75 for BDLS patrons. For more information about the luncheon or becoming a BDLS patron, call 865-974-0931 or visit the Baker Center website.

This is the second year of the BDLS, which honors notable individuals who exemplify the values of Senator Baker. Previous honorees were Senator George Mitchell and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

“We are thrilled to have Tom Brokaw joining us for this special event,” Baker Center Director Matt Murray said. “The media—the Fourth Estate—plays a key role in our democracy, and Tom Brokaw has been on the front line of history, sharing the most significant events of the last fifty years with the American public. Over the years, he’s served as a lens, an investigator, and an analyst. Hearing him talk about the many experiences of his career is sure to inform, enlighten, and entertain us.”

Brokaw was born in South Dakota in 1940 and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of South Dakota in 1964. He worked as a radio reporter during college and, after graduating, worked in Omaha, Nebraska; Atlanta, Georgia; and Los Angeles. In 1973, working as NBC’s Washington correspondent, Brokaw covered Watergate.

Brokaw served as anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004. He is the only person to host all three major NBC News programs: The TODAY Show, NBC Nightly News, and, briefly, Meet the Press. He covered many significant news stories, including the Challenger disaster, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Hurricane Andrew. He did the first one-on-one American television interviews with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

After September 11, 2001, Brokaw postponed his retirement to cover the terrorist attacks.

In 2006, Brokaw delivered a eulogy during the state funeral of former President Gerald R. Ford.

He returned to the NBC News anchor desk on June 13, 2008, to announce the death of his friend and colleague Tim Russert. Brokaw then served as interim host for Russert’s Sunday morning series, Meet the Press, until a replacement was found.

In 2008, Brokaw moderated the second presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain at Belmont University in Nashville.

Brokaw is the author of several books, including the best-selling The Greatest Generation, about Americans who came of age during the Great Depression and fought in World War II.

The News Sentinel, WBIR, WUOT, and Jupiter Entertainment are sponsoring this event with the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

Established in 2003, the Baker Center seeks to further the public’s knowledge of the US government and public policy and to encourage civil leadership and public service. The center sponsors programs to encourage informed discussion, with a special focus on engaging young people in policy issues and public service.

For more information about the Baker Center, visit the website.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)

Nissa Dahlin-Brown (865-974-8681, nissa@utk.edu)

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