John Cochran joined the network in January 1994 as chief Capitol Hill correspondent, where he reported on the historic change of leadership as Republicans took control of the House and Senate for the first time in four decades. He also covered Bob Dole's unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 1996. He was the senior White House correspondent in the final two years of the Clinton administration until January 2001 when he took on his current assignment as senior Washington correspondent.
Cochran joined ABC News from NBC, where he spent 21 years as a correspondent in Washington and overseas. For five of those years (1988-1993) he was NBC's chief correspondent at the White House where he reported on the United States' role in the 1991 Gulf War and the fall of Communism in east and central Europe. Before covering the White House, he was chief diplomatic correspondent, reporting on Middle East peace negotiations and efforts to end the nuclear arms race between Moscow and Washington. Previously, he was based in London as senior correspondent, reporting from five continents.
Cochran has received three Emmy awards for his reporting -- the first in 1981 for his coverage of the threat to Communism from the Solidarity labor movement in Poland, the second for his anchoring of reports during the overthrow of the Communist regime in Romania in 1989, and the third for his part in ABC News coverage of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. He also received the Peabody and Alfred I. duPont awards for his role in the ABC News coverage of the attacks.
His first network assignments were in Washington, DC, where he covered the Pentagon and the White House from 1972-77. He was the first correspondent to learn of and report on the Christmas bombing of Hanoi in 1972 during the Vietnam War. He also reported on the Watergate scandal and the resignation of President Richard Nixon. He was the first to report that in the final days of the Nixon administration a White House aide had discussed with then Vice-President Gerald Ford a possible pardon for Nixon. During the Ford Administration, he was the first reporter to reveal that President Ford had ordered evacuation efforts for pro-American South Vietnamese endangered by the advance of Communist forces.
Before joining NBC News in 1972, Cochran was a reporter for WRC-TV in Washington, DC. Earlier, he was a reporter and anchor at WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he won awards for his coverage of school desegregation efforts. He also worked as a freelance newspaper and radio reporter in Vietnam.
A native of Montgomery, Alabama, John Cochran began his journalism career while at the University of Alabama. He received a master's degree from the University of Iowa in 1967. He is married to another journalist, Barbara Cochran, president of Radio-TV News Directors Association.