Lynn Sherr

ByABC News
October 1, 2004, 5:29 PM

— -- Lynn Sherr joined 20/20 as a correspondent in May 1986.

She has covered a wide range of stories, specializing in women's issues and social changes, as well as investigative reports. During the 1999-2000 season, Sherr's contributions to 20/20 included an award-winning report on the astonishing story of a homeless girl in New York who earned a scholarship to Harvard. She also traveled to Peru for an eye-opening story about two young American women who spent time in prison there for smuggling drugs. Sherr investigated fraud in HMOs and terrorists stalking computer users in cyberspace. She profiled James Hewitt, the man who had an affair with Princess Diana and wrote about it. And she told the fascinating story of the discovery of the extraordinary, 67-million-year-old dinosaur known as Tyrannosaurus Sue, as well as the real Sue who found her.

In 2000 as well, Sherr traveled to India to report on midnight in Bombay for the ABCNEWS Millennium Special, which received numerous awards, including a George Foster Peabody Award for 1999. She later returned to India to provide a series of background reports for World News Tonight during the visit of President Clinton.

Her past reports on 20/20 include the increase in HIV among older women and a full one-hour report on Audrey Santos, a young girl in Worcester, Mass., whose life in a coma has inspired a series of unexplained religious phenomena. In an unusually personal report, Sherr interviewed baseball players Darryl Strawberry and Eric Davis about their battles with colon cancer and revealed that she too was a recent survivor of the disease.

She has also done a ground-breaking one-hour story on anorexia and a clinic in Canada that has had particular success in treating the condition.

Prior to her assignment at 20/20, Sherr was a national correspondent for ABCNEWS since 1982 and a general assignment correspondent since 1977. She has continually covered a variety of stories ranging from national politics to NASA Space Shuttle missions.

Since 1978, during the primaries and presidential election coverage, Sherr has provided the analysis of the vote, based on ABC's exit polling, for all political coverage. From 1980-1992, she was a floor correspondent at all GOP and Democratic conventions. Until 1986, she reported on all Space Shuttle flights and landings, starting with STS-1. She anchored ABCNEWS' special coverage of the Shuttle launches, landings and space walks, including the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. She covered the investigation into the cause of the explosion and obtained the only interview with astronaut Sally Ride, a member of the Rogers Commission. In 1988, Sherr anchored and reported a one-hour ABCNEWS Closeup, 'Beyond the Shuttle,' examining the current status of America's space program and its ability to conduct the next generation of space missions. In May of 1986, she was chosen as one of 40 semifinalists for the Journalist in Space Project.

Before joining 20/20, Sherr covered the retrial of Claus von Bulow, the Paris Air Show and the United Nations' Women's Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, for ABCNEWS. During the 1984 presidential campaign, she covered Senator John Glenn's unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination and Geraldine Ferraro's campaign for vice president. Sherr also was a substitute anchor for ABCNEWS' Nightline, Good Morning America and World News Tonight.

In 1996. Sherr was one of 10 graduates of Lower Merion High School (Ardmore, Pa.) selected as distinguished alumni (others included Gen. Alexander Haig and Librarian of Congress James Billington). She also received two American Women in Radio and Television Commendation Awards: One for her report on an alternative treatment for anorexia and bulimia, and another for the ABC primetime special she hosted, 'Susan B. Anthony Slept Here,' which also won an AWRT best-in-show award.

Sherr received the 1994 George Foster Peabody Award and the Santa Clara County Psychological Association Award for her anorexia report, as well as an award from the British Medical Association and the Cine Golden Eagle Award, and the 1995 National Headliner Award for her report on a highly experimental open-womb surgery. She also was honored with a 1994 Front Page Award for her piece on the dangers of tattooed cosmetics, and a 1995 Silver Screen Award for her segment about a young man who revealed to his family that he had AIDS.

During the 1992-93 season, Sherr received a Maggie Award from Planned Parenthood for her report on the continuing battle over Ireland's abortion amendment. She has also been honored with numerous awards for other 20/20 segments, including a Front Page Award for her piece illustrating how breast cancer victims are fighting for government research funds; an Excellence in Financial Journalism Award for her segment on Continental Can's secret plan to fire employees before they could collect their pensions; and a Gold Award from the National Mental Health Association for a report on a controversial new drug for schizophrenia. She received a Matrix Award from the New York Women in Communications in 1990.

She also won an Exceptional Merit Media Award from the National Women's Political Caucus, and a Maggie Award from Planned Parenthood for her abortion pill story. Sherr won a Pinnacle Award from the American Women in Radio and Television for 'How Far Is Too Far?,' her 20/20 segment on sexual harassment. She won a Front Page Award from the New York Newswomen's Club, an award from the National Women's Political Caucus and an award from the American Women in Radio and Television for her profile of Norway's Prime Minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland, and her cabinet.

She received Wellesley College's Alumnae Achievement Award for her distinguished career. Sherr won an Emmy Award in 1980 for her election coverage. She won a Citation of Merit, Teddy Award and an honorable mention from the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her 20/20 segment titled 'Hole in the Sky,' a report on the controversial belief that pollution has damaged the ozone layer protecting the Earth's atmosphere. She won a special commendation from the American Women in Radio and Television for her World News Tonight Special Assignment series, 'Women, Work and Sexual Harassment,' in 1979; and won the Ohio State Award for her earlier PBS series, 'USA: People & Politics.' She has also won the Golden Award for journalism from the Philadelphia Golden Slipper Club in 1980.

Sherr, a former correspondent for WCBS-TV, had gained wide recognition as an on-air correspondent for Public Broadcasting stations WNET in New York and WETA in Washington. She also served as principal reporter and anchor for the weekly PBS magazine series, 'USA: People & Politics.' She hosted the PBS network analysis following the debate between 1976 vice presidential candidates Walter Mondale and Robert Dole, and anchored WNET's New York State and Connecticut desks for the station's election night coverage. Prior to that, she served as correspondent and producer of WNET's The 51st State.

Sherr hosted several editions of the one-hour 'Woman Alive!' series of specials on PBS. In 1977, she hosted the 'MacNeil-Lehrer Report' on PBS with Jim Lehrer, in Robert MacNeil's absence.

Prior to her assignment with WCBS-TV, Sherr was a reporter and news feature writer for the Associated Press in New York. She was reporter and editor for Conde Nast Publications from September 1983 until March 1985.

Before joining the staff of WNET, Sherr worked on a freelance basis, hosting WNET-TV's Midday Live program in New York in 1974. Programs she has anchored for WNET include 'Why Me?,' 'Celebrate Women,' 'Women and the GOP Convention' and 'Tax Clinic.'

She is the author of Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words and co-author of Susan B. Anthony Slept Here: A Guide to American Women's Landmarks, and 10 editions of 'The Women's Calendar.'

Her most recent book, Tall Blondes, offered a perceptive and highly praised look at one of wildlife's most endearing but little-understood animals giraffes.

Sherr is also the author of articles in publications such as The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, Saturday Review, Ms., Family Circle and Mademoiselle.

Sherr graduated from Wellesley College, where she now serves as a trustee, with a B.A. degree. She is listed in Who's Who in American Women.