Charles Gibson, who has served as the anchor of ABC's flagship broadcast "World News" since May 2006, will officially retire from full-time employment at ABC News Friday, Dec. 18. Gibson announced his plans to retire Sept. 2, and "Good Morning America" co-anchor Diane Sawyer was named as his replacement.
"It has not been an easy decision to make," Gibson wrote in an e-mail to his staff. "This has been my professional home for almost 35 years. And I love this news department, and all who work in it, to the depths of my soul."
"Most importantly, my heart is full of gratitude for those with whom I have had the privilege to work as a correspondent, as a host at Good Morning America, at Special Events, and now as anchor at World News," he added.
Gibson joined ABC News in 1975, and was named White House correspondent in 1976, covering Gerald Ford's presidential campaign. From 1977 to 1981, he reported on a variety of national news stories as a general assignment reporter -- including investigations of the Central Intelligence Agency and economic stories. From 1981 to 1987, Gibson served as the chief correspondent at the House of Representatives, covering Tip O'Neill and his opposition to President Reagan's policies.
In 1987, Gibson was named co-anchor of "Good Morning America." He anchored the broadcast until 1998, then returned to relaunch "GMA" with Diane Sawyer from January 1999 to June 2006.
At "Good Morning America," Gibson reported on many of the key events that shaped our world. He anchored the morning broadcast on Sept. 11, 2001, beginning the network's award-winning coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
In June 2001, Gibson anchored ABC's live coverage of the Timothy McVeigh execution from the Oklahoma City National Memorial. He had reported from the scene days after the Murrah Federal Building was bombed in April 1995, and continued to follow the story on multiple return visits to Oklahoma City.
In February 2003, he reported on the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, anchoring "GMA" from the Johnson Space Center in Houston and winning an Emmy for his hour-long "Primetime Thursday" investigation titled "Columbia Final Mission."
In 2005, Gibson traveled to Vatican City to cover the death of Pope John Paul II. He anchored the network's coverage of the Pope's funeral and the election of Pope Benedict XVI. Gibson's reporting was later recognized with a DuPont-Columbia Award.
In addition to his co-anchor role at "GMA," Gibson served as co-anchor of "Primetime Thursday" from 1998 to 2004, covering a wide range of other stories. On the tenth anniversary of the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Texas, he interviewed young survivors of David Koresh's group in an hour-long "Primetime" report. In 2004, he interviewed Major League Baseball legend Pete Rose -- the interview made national headlines when Rose admitted to Gibson that he had bet on baseball.
Gibson has interviewed leaders from around the world, including Kofi Annan, Tony Blair, the late Yasir Arafat and Nelson Mandela. In 1995, he conducted a live interview with Leah Rabin in her home in Tel Aviv hours after the funeral of her husband, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In April 1999, he reported from Macedonia's tent cities for refugees from Kosovo, and in October 2000, he reported from Sharm El Shekh, Egypt, on the Middle East peace summit.
Gibson's career covering politics includes interviews with each of the last eight American presidents. He has anchored many broadcasts from Republican and Democratic national conventions, as well as presidential inaugurations. In 2004, he was chosen to moderate the debate between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry -- the debate was watched by 47 million people around the country.
When Gibson left "GMA" in June 2006, it was his intention to retire from ABC News the following year.
"But with Peter's illness, Bob's injuries, and Elizabeth [Vargas's] pregnancy, the job at 'World News' came open in May of 2006," Gibson said in the e-mail to the ABC staff. He was asked to step in as anchor. "It was an honor to do so."
Since being named anchor of "World News" in May 2006, Gibson has traveled around the country and world. When violence broke out between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006, Gibson traveled to the region and reported from both sides of the conflict. He also reported from Amman, Jordan, on the highly anticipated meeting between President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
In 2006, Gibson interviewed President Bush onboard Air Force One, conducting a wide-ranging interview while Bush was en route to deliver a major speech on national security.
In April 2007, Gibson reported from the campus of Virginia Tech following the devastating school shooting. In October of that year, he traveled to Southern California where massive wildfires burned out of control.
During the 2008 election cycle, Gibson covered the pivotal primaries and caucuses, reporting from the scene in Iowa, New Hampshire and Texas. He moderated back-to-back presidential debates in Manchester, N.H., days before the first-in-the-nation primary in that state. Before Pennsylvania's highly anticipated primary, Gibson moderated a Democratic debate at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia -- the most-watched debate of the primary season. He reported from the Democratic and Republican National Conventions and conducted several interviews with the presidential candidates.
On Nov. 4, 2008, Gibson anchored the network's election coverage along with Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos. He announced the results of the election from ABC's studio in Times Square.
Gibson graduated from Princeton University. A native of Evanston, Ill., he grew up in Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Arlene, live in New York. The couple has two daughters and one grandson.