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2018 Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor Ted Koppel

Ted Koppel
Photo: ABC News


Journalist Ted Koppel was the anchor and managing editor of ABC News' Nightline for 26 years, becoming the longest-serving news anchor in U.S. broadcast history. After leaving ABC in 2005, Koppel and his colleagues produced 20 hours of documentaries for the Discovery Network where he served as managing editor. Since then he has worked as a contributing analyst for BBC America and a special correspondent for the NBC News magazine program, Rock Center.

During more than 50 years working as a professional journalist, Ted has embodied the term “eye-witness to history." He covered John F. Kennedy’s funeral in 1963; Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign in 1964; Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965; conflicts in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia; Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign in 1968 and his historic visit to the People’s Republic of China in 1972; and Henry Kissinger’s shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East in 1973–74. Koppel was an embedded correspondent with the 3rd armored infantry division during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He was with Mikhail Gorbachev inside the Kremlin on the last day of the Soviet Union, and was the first journalist to interview Nelson Mandela at his home in Soweto, South Africa upon his release from 27 years in prison.

In 2012, New York University named Koppel one of the “100 outstanding journalists in the United States in the last 100 years." When he left ABC News after 42 years, he was the most honored reporter in that network’s history, having received more Overseas Press Club of America Awards than the previous record holder, Edward R. Murrow; 12 Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Awards; and eight Peabody Awards. He has also been awarded 42 Emmy Awards, including one for lifetime achievement.

Koppel’s most recent book, Lights Out, examines a threat unique to our time and evaluates potential ways for America to prepare for a cyber-catastrophe. Koppel serves as commentator and non-fiction book reviewer for National Public Radio. He is also a contributing columnist to The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.  Koppel also serves as a senior contributor to the CBS Sunday Morning Show.

Koppel earned his master's in communication from Stanford in 1962, and his wife, Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, MA ’67, is also a Stanford alum.

Ted Koppel gave the Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor Lecture on Public Service and the University, entitled "A Brief History of News: Fake, the Other Kind, and Where We Go from Here," on April 18, 2018. Watch the video.