Ted Koppel has embodied the term “eye-witness to history” throughout the 50-plus years that he has worked as a professional journalist. He has covered a wide variety of political events, including the presidential nominating conventions of both parties going back to 1964, President Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
Koppel became the longest-serving news anchor in U.S. broadcast history, after being the anchor and managing editor of Nightline for over 26 years.
Among the more than 6,000 Nightline broadcasts, he anchored was the one on the last day of the Soviet Union during which he was the only reporter with Mikhail Ghorbachev inside the Kremlin. He was also the first journalist to interview Nelson Mandela at his home in South Africa upon his release from prison.
When he left ABC News after 42 years, Koppel was the most honored reporter in that network’s history, having received more “Overseas Press Club” awards than the previous record holder, Edward R. Murrow, and eight “George Foster Peabody” awards. In 2012, New York University named Koppel one of the 100 outstanding journalists in the United States in the last 100 years. Koppel has won 12 Columbia-DuPont awards and 43 Emmys, including one for lifetime achievement.
Koppel’s most recent book, a New York Times bestseller, Lights Out, examines a threat unique to our time and evaluates potential ways for America to prepare for a cyber-catastrophe.