- Moved to the U.S. from Britain with his family when he was 13.
- Failed an Associated Press job-application test before being hired by ABC in 1963.
- Was offered the job of State Department spokesman in 1975 by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
- Took a leave of absence from ABC in 1976 to stay home with his children while his wife attended law school.
- Speaks German, Russian and French.
- Fame grew during his work on ABC's Nightline, born in 1980, which grew from temporary broadcasts spurred by the Iran hostage crisis, which started in 1979.
- Looking back at that crisis 30 years later, Koppel said that "you don't have a lot of coverage of Iran anymore...that's tragic, but it's all part of the economics of television."
- Has won many journalism awards, including dozens of news Emmys, and was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1992.
- After retiring in 2005 from Nightline, after 25 years, worked for the Discovery Channel and for National Public Radio.
- In 2011, did anchor work for BBC World News America on such issues as the crisis in Libya.