Diane Sawyer: Beauty in Coke-Bottle Glasses

ByABC News via logo
September 8, 2006, 8:10 AM

Sept. 8, 2006 — -- Millions of Americans see her looking sleek and sophisticated every morning, but Diane Sawyer wasn't always known for her style.

In high school, many people saw her as a brain more than a beauty.

"The first time Diane came into my classroom, she started talking with me about being a sponsor for a new debate team that she wanted to organize. So my impression of her at first was that she was a beautiful, inquisitive, persuasive -- geek," said Alice Lora, Diane's high school English teacher and now a professor at Bluffton College.

With a passion for reading and singing, Diane left fashion somewhat to chance.

"Diane was not much for makeup, and she liked to wear football jerseys a lot," said childhood friend Janis Hennessey.

Coke-bottle glasses were her accessory of choice.

"She had her hair back in a ponytail, and she had these thick, horn-rimmed black glasses," Lora said.

Her shiny blonde locks weren't so shiny back then, according to childhood friend Diane Duffy.

"She, of course, wanted to look good, but if her hair was hanging in front of her eyes or if she looked a bit scruffy that day, it didn't really bother her."

Growing up in Louisville, Ky., Diane had better things to do than dwell on clothes, hair and makeup.

She loved the outdoors and took pride in knowing what was going on in her neighborhood.

"We used to like to go into the farmer's field," Hennessey said. "The corn was very high, and we would sing and shout our lungs out and have a good time -- just free for all there. We decided that in order to solidify our friendship, that we would be called the 3D Detective Agency."

Diane was a snoop from the beginning.

"We kept notes on things that might be going on in the neighborhood. You know this is a neighborhood where nothing went on," she said.

Diane and her buddies also had a favorite game -- playing library.

"We played library, where we would check books in and out with other neighborhood kids," Duffy said.