Thomas has led many important investigations at ABC News including: insight into how COVID-19 spread so broadly and quickly throughout the United States, an analysis of voluntarily reported arrest data which revealed a stark racial disparity in the U.S. and an in-depth look at the opioid epidemic crisis in America.
Thomas was a key member of ABC’s team of correspondents covering the terrorist attacks of September 11th, and he continues to report on all aspects of the aftermath of those attacks. The network’s coverage of the 9/11 tragedy was widely recognized for its excellence, winning the prestigious Peabody and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards and an Emmy Award. Thomas also participated in a “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings” broadcast, which won the Edward R. Murrow Award for best newscast in 2005. In 2009 Thomas received an Emmy Award as part of team coverage of the inauguration of President Barack Obama and, in 2011, the Houston Association of Black Journalists honored him with its Pinnacle Award. In 2012, Thomas was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.
He was a key part of the ABC News team honored with three additional Murrow Awards: in 2012 for the network’s coverage of the tragic Tucson shooting and the killing of Osama Bin Laden—and again in 2014 for ABC’s coverage that included the Boston marathon terrorist attacks. He was also part of the ABC News team that received 2016 Murrow awards for Overall Excellence and Breaking News. Thomas also played a critical role in ABC News breaking coverage of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando which was honored with a 2016 Emmy Award. And in 2018 he was honored with a Murrow Award for his radio series on the Fentanyl crisis. Thomas was named the recipient of the RTDNA 2015 John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award, which is named after the organization’s founder and first president and honors contributions to journalism and freedom of the press. Past recipients include Walter Cronkite and Hugh Downs. He has been honored to serve as host of the RTDNA’s First Amendment Awards, first in 2016, and then again 2019, at a time when he was helping to lead the coverage of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation targeting President Trump. He has been featured in the American Journalism Review and has been the focus of hour-long C-SPAN broadcast about his career and thoughts on journalism.
Thomas received an Emmy Award as part of team coverage of the inauguration of President Barack Obama and, in 2011, the Houston Association of Black Journalists honored him with its Pinnacle Award. He was recently featured in the American Journalism Review, and, in 2011, was the focus of an hour-long C-SPAN broadcast about his career and thoughts on journalism. In 2012, Thomas was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.
A former Washington Post reporter, Thomas was part of a team whose work was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on illegal gun use in the Washington, D.C., region. While at the Post Thomas received the Pass Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency for his article “Beyond Grief and Fear,” twice won the Mort Mintz Investigative Award and was a finalist for the Livingston Young Journalist Award.
Thomas joined CNN as Justice Department correspondent in 1997. He broke news on many fronts, including terrorism, cyber-crime, the hunt for Osama bin Laden, the FBI’s Most Wanted list and the Justice Department’s involvement in the Elian Gonzalez case. He started his career at The Roanoke Times and World-News. He is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. Thomas is a past chairman of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and is a member of the Gridiron Club, the nation’s oldest and one of its most prestigious journalistic organizations.