Co-Anchor, Today, Contributing Anchor, Dateline NBC
Katie Couric has been co-anchor of Today since April 5, 1991. She joined the program in June 1990 as its first national correspondent and then served as substitute co-anchor from February 1991 until becoming permanent co-anchor. She is also a contributing anchor for Dateline NBC.
Since joining NBC News in July 1989 as deputy Pentagon correspondent, Couric has interviewed a panoply of world leaders, national political figures, writers, actors and pop culture icons. Some of her groundbreaking political interviews throughout her career range from former President George Bush Sr. to current President George W. Bush, and every presidential candidate in between. During a tour of the White House in 1993 on its 200th anniversary by First Lady Barbara Bush, Couric conducted a news-making impromptu twenty-minute interview with then President Bush. In her first television interview, Hillary Clinton spoke with Couric in a one-hour primetime special. Couric's interview of First Lady Laura Bush prior to the inauguration in 2001 also made headlines.
Most recently Couric talked with Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, as well as British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Couric also landed the first televised interview with Jennifer Wilbanks, whose disappearance just before her wedding day created a nationwide sensation, earning her the moniker "Runaway Bride." Tricia Meili, widely known as the Central Park Jogger, shared her story of recovery and survival with Couric in an exclusive interview "A Katie Couric Exclusive: The Central Park Jogger." In January 2002, Couric traveled to Saudi Arabia for an exclusive interview with the Saudi Crown Prince as world attention focused on the region. She conducted the final television interview with John F. Kennedy, Jr., prior to his death in July 1999, and in a five-part morning-show exclusive interview, she spoke with John and Patsy Ramsey about the highly publicized death of their daughter, JonBenet. Couric anchored two days of live coverage from Littleton, Colo., following the shooting rampage at Columbine High School in April 1999. Her critically acclaimed interview with the father of one of the victims and the brother of another made national headlines. She continued her coverage of the tragedy the following week with an in-depth interview at the White House with President Bill Clinton, focusing on gun control and youth violence. In an exclusive television interview for Dateline in February of that same year, Couric spoke with the parents of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student at the University of Wyoming who was the victim of a nationally publicized hate-crime incident.
From 1987 to 1989, Couric was a general-assignment reporter at WRC-TV, the NBC Television Station in Washington, D.C. While there, she won an Emmy and an Associated Press Award for her work. From 1984 to 1986, she was a general-assignment reporter at NBC's WTVJ in Miami. She began her career as a desk assistant for the ABC News bureau in her native Washington, D.C. in 1979. In 1980, she joined CNN as an assignment editor. She moved to Atlanta as an associate producer and later became the producer of a two-hour news and information program. She eventually became a political correspondent.
In May 2001, Couric was honored with a prestigious George Foster Peabody award for her series "Confronting Colon Cancer," which aired on Today in March 2000. As a part of the series, she underwent a colonoscopy on camera, in an effort to demystify the exam for the viewers. She has also won six Emmys, a National Headliner Award, the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi award, an Associated Press Award, a Matrix Award, two Gracie Allen Awards, the Julius B. Richmond Award by the Harvard School of Public Health, and UNICEF's Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award. Her piece on colon cancer also contributed to NBC News' 2001 Edward R. Murrow award for Overall Excellence for the news department.
Couric has made colon cancer a major focus both in her work and in her personal life. In March 2000, along with Lilly Tartikoff and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, she launched the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA), in an effort to end the threat of colon cancer through education to encourage preventive testing and new medical research. These initiatives have met with some success. As a result of the attention NCCRA and NBC's Today show have focused on colorectal cancer, the number of colonoscopy screenings has increased almost 20%. Researchers at the University of Michigan refer to this as "the Couric Effect."
In addition to a variety of annual events, Couric has hosted two enormously successful fundraisers. Called "Hollywood Hits Broadway," these benefits showcased various stars from the screen and stage while raising close to $10 million for the NCCRA and the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The Center, which opened in March 2004, provides a comprehensive, fully integrated interdisciplinary program, stressing education and prevention in addition to diagnosis and treatment of GI cancers. The Center's goal is to make dealing with the difficult diagnosis of these cancers less traumatic for patients and their families.
Couric graduated with honors from the University of Virginia. She lives in New York with her daughters, Elinor Tully Monahan and Caroline Couric Monahan.
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