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.
Among Sawyer's many newsmaker interviews, she most recently interviewed actor and director Mel Gibson in October 2006 -- his first television interview since he was arrested in Malibu, Calif., on suspicion of driving under the influence. That same month she also sat down for an exclusive interview with actor and comedian Robin Williams. This was his first television interview since voluntarily admitting himself into rehabilitation for alcohol abuse.
Sawyer's distinguished and headline-making interviews also include: President George W. Bush in his first national interview; Saddam Hussein, the first Western television interview granted by the Iraqi president in nearly a decade; Cuban 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 hit TV show, "Spin City"; and former first lady Nancy Reagan on President Reagan's battle with Alzheimer's disease and their 50-year marriage. Sawyer also had the first interview at home with the Clintons after the 1992 presidential election.
In addition to her DuPont Awards, Robert F. Kennedy awards and numerous Emmys, her many honors include the grand prize of the 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 Hall of Fame.
Before 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.
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.