Bob Woodruff joined ABC News in 1996 and has covered major stories throughout the country and around the world for the network. He was named co-anchor of ABC's "World News Tonight" in December 2005. On January 29, 2006, while reporting on U.S. and Iraqi security forces, Mr. Woodruff was seriously injured by a roadside bomb that struck his vehicle near Taji, Iraq.
In February 2007, just thirteen months after being wounded in Iraq, Mr. Woodruff returned to ABC News with his first on-air report, "To Iraq and Back: Bob Woodruff Reports." The hour-long, primetime documentary chronicled his traumatic brain injury (TBI), his painstaking recovery, and the plight of thousands of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with similar injuries. Mr. Woodruff continues to cover traumatic brain injuries for all ABC News broadcasts and platforms and was honored with a Peabody Award in 2008 for his reporting on the subject.
Since returning to the air, Mr. Woodruff has reported from around the globe – North Korea on the country's denuclearization process, Syria and Jordan on the exodus of Iraqi refugees in those countries, and from war-torn Sudan. Here at home, Mr. Woodruff's covered major stories and events. He conducted an exclusive interview with Senator Tim Johnson, marking the senator's first interview since suffering a nearly fatal brain hemorrhage eight months prior. In August 2007, Mr. Woodruff traveled to Virginia Tech, where he interviewed students who survived the deadly shooting rampage. Speaking publicly for the first time, the students discussed that horrific day and their recovery process.
In July 2008, Woodruff began anchoring "Focus Earth," a weekly eco-newscast for Planet Green, Discovery Communications' 24/7 eco-lifestyle network. Each week, Woodruff covers a variety of subjects ranging from climate impact, environmental policy, political debate and world events. An ABC News production for Planet Green, the series includes studio-based round table discussions, feature stories, and lively debates, making it the one-stop destination for a deeper perspective on the environment. The program draws upon the global resources of ABC News and its reporting team around the world.
Previously the anchor of the weekend edition of "World News Tonight" and one of ABC News' top correspondents, Mr. Woodruff has covered major stories both in the United States and overseas. His reports from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina helped focus the nation's attention on the building tragedy there. He was ABC's lead correspondent on the Asian Tsunami, reporting from Banda Aceh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Mr. Woodruff has covered the entire so-called "axis of evil," the nuclear showdown in Iran, and in June 2005 he got unprecedented access to the secretive country of North Korea. In the 2004 presidential election he reported on the campaign of Senator John Edwards. He has also reported extensively on the continuing unrest in Iraq from Baghdad, Najaf, Nassariya and Basra. During the initial invasion, Mr. Woodruff reported from the front lines as an embedded journalist with the First Marine Division, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.
Before moving to New York in 2002, Mr. Woodruff worked out of ABC News' London Bureau. After the September 11 attacks, he was among the first Western reporters into Pakistan and was one of ABC's lead foreign correspondents during the war in Afghanistan, reporting from Kabul and Kandahar on the fall of the Taliban. His overseas reporting of the fallout from September 11 was part of ABC News' coverage recognized with the Alfred I. duPont Award and the George Foster Peabody Award, the two highest honors in broadcast journalism. He was also a part of the ABC News team recognized with an Alfred I. duPont award for live coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.
Before becoming a journalist, Mr. Woodruff was an attorney. But in 1989, while teaching law in Beijing, he was hired by CBS News to work as a translator during the Tiananmen Square uprising, and a short time later he changed careers. As ABC's Justice Department correspondent in Washington in the late 1990's, Mr. Woodruff covered the office of Attorney General Janet Reno, the FBI and ATF. In 1999 he reported from Belgrade and Kosovo during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. Since then he has reported extensively on Europe and the Middle East.
Prior to joining ABC News, Mr. Woodruff was a reporter for KCPM-TV, the NBC affiliate in Redding, California, from 1991-92; for the CBS affiliate WTVR-TV in Richmond, Virginia from 1992-94; and for KNXV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona from 1994-96. He joined ABC News in 1996, based in the network's Chicago bureau.
In February 2007, Mr. Woodruff and his wife Lee co-wrote a best selling memoir "In an Instant," chronicling his injuries in Iraq and how their family persevered through a time of intense trauma and uncertainty. The Woodruff family also established the Bob Woodruff Family Foundation for Traumatic Brain Injury (BWFF) to raise money to assist members of the military with cognitive rehabilitation and care following a traumatic brain injury suffered in service to their country.
Mr. Woodruff has a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and a BA from Colgate University. He and his wife Lee have four children.