Diane Sawyer

Active - 1989 - 2015  |   Born - Dec 22, 1945 in Glasgow, Kentucky, United States  |   Genres - History, Culture & Society

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Biography by Nathan Southern

Widely regarded as one of America's most venerable and easily identifiable news anchors (assessments confirmed in innumerable viewer polls), Diane Sawyer is also synonymous with professionalism and journalistic integrity. Her noteworthy accomplishments include, among others, lengthy tenures on 60 Minutes, ABC's Primetime Live, Good Morning America, and the ABC Evening News.

Born Lila Diana Sawyer in Glasgow, Kentucky, on December 22, 1945, Sawyer first encountered fame and recognition by netting the title of American Junior Miss 1963. After attending Wellesley College, she launched her career as a Louisville-area weather girl and newscaster, and held the position until 1970, when Ron Ziegler -- then press secretary to Richard Nixon -- drafted her to work in Nixon's administration. Sawyer remained in the White House for much of the 1970s -- through the Ford administration -- and was later tapped by CBS to co-anchor its CBS Morning News alongside Bill Kurtis, a position she held from 1982 to 1984.

In 1984, Sawyer joined the cast of CBS's seminal Sunday-night news magazine, 60 Minutes, alongside Mike Wallace, Harry Reasoner, Morley Safer, Andy Rooney, and Ed Bradley. Sawyer remained with the series for five years, then swapped networks in 1989 to host the ABC news magazine Primetime Live. By the late '90s, Sawyer had also agreed to also assume co-hosting duties with Barbara Walters on the network's 20/20, and to occasionally appear on World News Tonight. In 1999, Sawyer added the anchorage of Good Morning America to her resumé.

Sawyer married director Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Silkwood) in 1988.

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  • Won America's Junior Miss pageant in 1963.
  • Began broadcast career as a weather girl in Louisville, KY.
  • Worked as an aide to Nixon's press secretary in the '70s; helped him in the writing of his memoirs in 1974-75.
  • Joined CBS in 1978 as a reporter, co-anchored CBS This Morning (1981-84), and later became the first female correspondent on 60 Minutes. She moved to ABC in 1989, hosting PrimeTime Live and later, Good Morning America (1999).
  • Inducted into the Television Academy of Fame in 1997.
  • Replaced Charles Gibson as anchor of ABC's World News in December 2009.