Diane Sawyer Biography

Lila Diane Sawyer is a renowned American interviewer, anchor, and television journalist with a remarkable career spanning over 50 years. From her humble beginnings as a weather forecaster, she quickly rose through the ranks and became a staff assistant for US President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal. After her time in government, Sawyer returned to journalism and joined CBS News, where she served as a correspondent for ‘60 Minutes’ and co-hosted various shows. She later anchored ABC News’ flagship show ‘ABC World News’ from 2009 to 2014. Throughout her career, Sawyer has been a trailblazer for female journalists and has received numerous awards, including multiple Emmys, for her exceptional work.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Lila Diane Sawyer
  • Age: 78 Years, 78 Year Old Females
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Mike Nichols (m. 1988–2014)
    • Father: Erbon Powers
    • Mother: Jean W. (née Dunagan)
  • Born Country: United States
  • TV Anchors
  • Journalists
  • Ancestry: Irish American, German American, British American
  • Notable Alumni: Seneca High School
  • U.S. State: Kentucky
  • More Facts
  • Education: Wellesley College, Seneca High School
  • Awards:
    • 2003 – GLAAD Media Award for Excellence in Media
    • 2004 – Fighting care – George Polk Awards
    • 2007, 2008, 2009 – Good Morning America – Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Morning Program
    • 2000 – The Unwanted Children of Russia – Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award
    • 2002 – Primetime – News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Interview
    • 2010 – ABC News Special Events – News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story – Long Form
    • 2012 – ABC World News Tonight; Nightline ABC News Special Report – News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a Newscast
    • 2001 – Glamour Woman of the Year Award
    • 2008 – 20/20 – News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Feature Story in a News Magazine
    • 2000 – ABC 2000 Today – Special Classification for Outstanding News and Documentary Program Achievement – Programs
    • 2015 – WGA Award for Best News – Regularly Scheduled Bulletin or Breaking Report – Television
    • 2002 – Good Morning America – Regularly Scheduled Newscast – News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Background/Analysis of a Single Current Story

Childhood & Early Life

Diane Sawyer was born on December 22, 1945, in Glasgow, Kentucky. She is the younger of two daughters of Jean W. and Erbon Powers “Tom” Sawyer. Her mother was an elementary school teacher and her father was a former US Navy captain. Diane’s family moved to Louisville when she was a few months old, and her father became a prominent member of the community as a Republican politician.

Education and Early Career

Diane Sawyer was an active student at Seneca High School in Louisville. She served as the editor-in-chief for the school newspaper and was involved in many artistic endeavors. In 1963, she represented Kentucky in the annual national America’s Junior Miss scholarship pageant and won the pageantry. She served as America’s Junior Miss between 1962 and 1965.

Diane graduated from Wellesley College in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She briefly enrolled in law school at the University of Louisville but left to pursue a career in journalism.

Career in Journalism

Diane Sawyer started her career as a weather forecaster but soon grew tired of the job. She moved to Washington, D.C. in search of better opportunities but found none in broadcasting. She then switched careers and worked in government offices, eventually serving as a staff assistant to President Nixon.

In 1978, she returned to broadcast journalism and joined CBS News as a general-assignment reporter. She later became the first female correspondent for CBS News’ ’60 Minutes’. In 1989, she joined ABC News as the co-anchor for ‘Primetime Live’ and later co-hosted ’20/20′. She also co-hosted ‘Good Morning America’ for 11 years.

In 2009, Diane became the host of ‘ABC World News’, where she focused on “news you can use”. She stepped down as the weekday host in 2014 but continues to conduct interviews and create specials for ABC News.

Major Works and Awards

Throughout her career, Diane Sawyer has conducted interviews with numerous newsmakers, including Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner, Malala Yousafzai, and Hillary Clinton. She has received several awards for her work, including Emmys for her shows ‘Good Morning America’, ’20/20′, and ‘ABC Evening News’.

Diane Sawyer was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1997 and has received a Peabody Award and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

Personal Life and Trivia

Diane Sawyer has been in relationships with Frank Gannon and Richard Holbrooke. She married film and theatre director Mike Nichols in 1988. They did not have any children together. Mike Nichols passed away in 2014.

In 2001, Diane Sawyer was listed among the thirty most powerful women in America by the ‘Ladies Home Journal’.

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