Anchor Scott Pelley brings deep experience to CBS Evening News

Scott Pelley of CBS News (CBS)

Scott Pelley, one of the most experienced reporters in broadcast journalism, became anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News” in June 2011.

Few journalists have made as wide and as deep a mark on a news organization as Pelley has at CBS News. He has covered everything from breaking national news stories to politics to wars. Since joining “60 Minutes” in 2004, half of all the major awards won by the broadcast have been for stories reported by Pelley. In addition to his daily anchor role, Pelley continues to provide many stories to “60 Minutes” as a full-time correspondent on the most successful television broadcast in history.

WNCN's Sean Maroney and Sharon Tazewell with Scott Pelley of CBS (CBS)
WNCN’s Sean Maroney and Sharon Tazewell with Scott Pelley of CBS (CBS)

Under his leadership, the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” has grown its audience for four consecutive seasons. The “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” has been awarded a George Foster Peabody award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Silver Baton, a George Polk award, three Emmys and three Edward R. Murrow awards.

Some of Pelley’s most recent “60 Minutes” assignments include reporting in Iraq on the front lines in the battle against ISIS; the first major television interview with FBI Director James Comey; and a news-making interview the nurses who treated the first Ebola patient in the United States. Pelley also conducted the only interview with one of the Navy SEALs who helped kill Osama bin Laden and a news-breaking interview with the chief accuser in Major League Baseball’s doping case against Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees, in addition to extensive coverage of the Lance Armstrong saga.

In the aftermath of a nationwide meningitis outbreak in the fall of 2012, Pelley made news with his “60 Minutes” interview with a whistleblower from the company where the tainted medicine was manufactured. Pelley has also found compelling and unique “60 Minutes” stories in the wake of breaking news, including the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the Boston Marathon bombing, and Hurricane Sandy. Pelley and his team also produced a series of stories on the nation’s financial crisis, the latest of which won three Emmy awards.

Pelley has interviewed President Barack Obama on several occasions, including during CBS Sports’ live, pre-game coverage of Super Bowl XLVII and in Rome after President Obama’s first meeting with Pope Francis. Pelley’s list of interview subjects also includes President George W. Bush and two unprecedented interviews with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke — the first time in decades that a sitting Federal Reserve Chairman allowed an interview. Additionally, Pelley conducted the first broadcast interview with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and has also interviewed Justice John Paul Stevens; Afghan President Hamid Karzai; Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta aboard the jet nicknamed the “Doomsday Plane.”

Pelley joined CBS News as a reporter based in New York in 1989.

In 1990, he was assigned for a year to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, during the Persian Gulf crisis. He also covered Baghdad and broadcast live reports during Iraqi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.

Pelley later served as a CBS News correspondent based in Dallas, where he covered many of the biggest domestic stories, including the Oklahoma City bombing and the trial of Timothy McVeigh. He was assigned to the 1992 presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton and Ross Perot and reported on the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, the Los Angeles Northridge earthquake, Hurricanes Andrew and Hugo and NASA’s shuttle missions.

Pelley was named CBS News’ Chief White House Correspondent in 1997. While covering the Clinton White House, Pelley broke more stories than anyone and was first to report that Monica Lewinsky had become a cooperating witness in the investigation conducted by the Office of the Independent Counsel. He also reported on the impeachment of President Clinton and was first to report that President Clinton had been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury.

Scott Pelley of the CBS Evening News (CBS)
Scott Pelley of the CBS Evening News (CBS)

On September 11, Pelley was among the first reporters to arrive on the scene of the twin towers. His award-winning live reports from Ground Zero and the subsequent search and recovery operations exhibited his innate ability to provide a deeper understanding of news events.

Pelley joined “60 Minutes” in 2004. Previously, he was a correspondent for “60 Minutes II.”

Pelley’s distinguished body of work for “60 Minutes” has been recognized with 24 Emmys, five Edward R. Murrow awards, three George Foster Peabody awards, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Silver Batons, a George Polk award, as well as honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Overseas Press Club of America, Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Writers Guild of America.

Pelley serves on the board of directors of the International Rescue Committee, the refugee relief agency headquartered in New York City. He is co-chair of the IRC’s Board of Overseers. He was inducted into the Texas Tech University alumni Hall of Fame and serves on the board of the university’s School of Mass Communications.

Prior to his time at CBS News, Pelley was a producer/reporter for WFAA-TV Dallas/Fort Worth (1982-89), KXAS-TV Dallas/Fort Worth (1978-81) and KSEL-TV Lubbock, Texas (1975-78). He began his journalism career at the age of 15 as a copyboy at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newspaper.

Scott Pelley was born in San Antonio, Texas, and attended journalism school at Texas Tech University. He and his wife, Jane Boone Pelley, have a son and a daughter.

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