Diane Sawyer joined ABC News in February 1989, as co-anchor of Primetime Live. In addition to her Primetime assignment, Sawyer was named co-anchor, with Charles Gibson, of Good Morning America in January 1999.
Since the premiere of Primetime in August 1989, Sawyer has traveled extensively across the United States and abroad to report on and investigate a wide range of topics and to interview a diverse group of newsmakers and personalities.
Sawyer reported live from Ground Zero during the week of Sept. 11 and interviewed over 60 widows who gave birth after the World Trade Center disaster. She recently returned to Afghanistan to reunite the women profiled in her landmark 1996 report from behind the burqua, as one of the first Western journalists to expose the plight of women under Taliban rule. She also presented a groundbreaking two-hour special on gay adoption and the foster care system, featuring Rosie O'Donnell's personal story as a gay parent.
Her interviews include President George W. Bush in his first national interview; Saddam Hussein, the first Western television interview granted by the Iraqi president for nearly a decade; President Fidel Castro; Robert MacNamara's public apology on Vietnam; Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, the convicted Mafia member who turned against the Gambino crime family and his boss, John Gotti; Ellen DeGeneres, who announced her homosexuality; ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega's first interview from prison; Michael Jackson and his then-wife Lisa Marie Presley's only interview; Michael J. Fox's interview about Parkinson's disease and the decision to leave his show; and former first lady Nancy Reagan on President Reagan's battle with Alzheimer's disease and their 50-year marriage. She also had the first interview at home with the Clintons after the 1992 presidential election.
Sawyer is also an award-winning investigative journalist, on topics ranging from biological weapons production in Russia to daycare abuse. She brought American viewers a shocking report on the warehousing of Russian children in state-run orphanages; a diary of life inside a maximum security prison for women, where Sawyer spent two days and nights; an investigation into the neglect and abuse at state-run institutions for the mentally retarded; and a landmark investigation into pharmacy prescription errors.
Other important investigations include undercover reports on food sanitation at the Food Lion grocery chain; uncovering the questionable business practices of three major televangelists; and neglect and doctor incompetence in the Veterans Administration Hospital in Cleveland. Sawyer's revealing hidden-camera investigation of racial discrimination, which documented the different experiences of blacks and whites in America, also won the Grand Prize in the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards.
Sawyer's overseas reporting includes her coverage of the attempted coup in Moscow, when she made her way into the office of Boris Yeltsin at the moment the attempted Soviet coup was at its crisis. During the Gulf War, she traveled to Egypt to interview President Hosni Mubarak and to Amman, Jordan, where she interviewed King Hussein and his American-born wife, Queen Noor. She is one of the few Western journalists ever to report from North Korea on the famine and the government's attempt to keep it secret.
Prior to joining ABC News, Sawyer spent nine years at CBS News. She was the first woman to co-anchor 60 Minutes. Prior to that, she co-anchored the CBS Morning News and was CBS News' State Department correspondent.
She was podium correspondent for the 1988 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, and a floor correspondent for the 1984 Republican and Democratic National Conventions and for the 1980 Democratic Convention.
In addition to her Dupont Awards, Robert F. Kennedy awards, and numerous Emmys, her many honors include the grand prize of the premier Investigative Reporters and Editors Association, two George Foster Peabody Awards for public service, an IRTS Lifetime Achievement Award, Broadcast Magazine Hall of Fame and the USC Distinguished Achievement in Journalism Award. In 1997, she was inducted into the Television Academy of Fame.
Prior to joining CBS News, Sawyer held several positions in the Nixon administration. She was part of the Nixon-Ford transition team from 1974 to 1975. She also assisted former President Nixon in the writing of his memoirs in 1974 and 1975.
Sawyer began her career in broadcasting in 1967 in Louisville, Ky., where she was a reporter for WLKY-TV until 1970.
A native of Glasgow, Ky., and raised in Louisville, Sawyer received a B.A. from Wellesley College in 1967 and completed a semester of law school before deciding on a career in broadcasting.