Ann Compton

ByABC News
December 10, 2008, 12:23 PM

— -- Ann Compton is now covering a sixth president for ABC News in a career that has taken her to the White House, Capitol Hill and through eight presidential campaigns. She is the national correspondent for ABC News Radio in Washington, D.C. Currently, Compton is the president of the White House Correspondents' Association, coordinating coverage and access issues with the White House staff.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Compton was the only broadcast reporter allowed to remain aboard Air Force One during the dramatic hours when President Bush was unable to return to Washington.

Weeks after the Watergate scandal came to an end, Compton became the first woman assigned to cover the White House on a full-time basis by a network television news organization, and she was one of the youngest to receive the assignment.

Reporting for all ABC News broadcasts, Compton has traveled around the globe and through all 50 states with presidents, vice presidents and first ladies. Twice during campaigns, she was invited to serve as a panelist for presidential debates (1988 and 1992), and she was assigned as a floor reporter at the 1976 Republican and Democratic National Conventions.

In 2000, Compton became chief Washington correspondent for, where she wrote and anchored a daily political column, "On Background."

Compton began her broadcasting career in Virginia, where an internship at Hollins College (now University) led to a full-time job reporting for WDBJ TV, a CBS affiliate in Roanoke. She established a State Capitol Bureau in Richmond for the station. In 1973, ABC News hired her, and she reported from New York until December 1974, when she was assigned to the White House.

Compton was part of the team that was awarded the prestigious Silver Baton Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award for the network's coverage of Sept. 11, 2001. Her coverage of Sept. 11 events was also recognized in ABC News' Emmy and Peabody Awards. She was inducted to the Museum of Broadcasting's Radio Hall of Fame in 2005 and in 2000 into the Journalism Hall of Fame by the Society of Professional Journalists. She was chairman of the governing board of the Radio Television Correspondents Association in 1987-88, and served on the advisory board of the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center in New York. She says her most valued award is a golden statuette from the National Mothers' Day Committee naming her a Mother of the Year in 1988.

Compton is married to Dr. William Hughes, a physician in Washington, D.C., and they are the parents of three sons and a daughter.

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