Diane Sawyer joined ABC News in February 1989 as co-anchor of "PrimeTime." In addition to her "PrimeTime" assignment, Sawyer was named co-anchor, with Charles Gibson, of "Good Morning America" in January 1999. She has also served as co-anchor of ABC News "Turning Point," which premiered in March 1994.
Since the premiere of "PrimeTime" in August 1989, Sawyer has traveled extensively across the United States and abroad to report on and investigate a wide range of topics and to interview a diverse group of newsmakers and personalities.
This past season on "Primetime," Sawyer's exclusive interviews included President George W. Bush, former POW Jessica Lynch, Gov. Howard Dean and Britney Spears. She also interviewed Mel Gibson for an hourlong report on the controversy surrounding his film, "The Passion of the Christ." In another one-hour special, Sawyer interviewed Oprah Winfrey about her efforts to provide assistance to children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic in South Africa. And Sawyer led a "Primetime" investigation into deplorable conditions inside some of America's largest veterans' hospitals.
Sawyer reported extensively from Iraq and Kuwait during the second war in Iraq. She conducted an exclusive interview with one of the main architects of Saddam Hussein's bio weapons program, Dr. Rihab Taha -- nicknamed "Dr. Germ" -- and took a unique ride on a military plane with soldiers wounded in the war. After the war, she had an exclusive interview with Gen. Tommy Franks, head of the U.S. Central Command.
Sawyer reported live from Ground Zero during the week of September 11, 2001, and later interviewed more than 60 widows who gave birth after the World Trade Center disaster. She returned to Afghanistan to reunite the women profiled in her landmark 1996 report in which she was one of the first Western journalists to expose the plight of women under Taliban rule.
During the 2002-2003 season, Sawyer conducted headline-making interviews with entertainers Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston and the Dixie Chicks. She also conducted an exclusive interview with Santee High School shooter Andy Williams, and presented an hourlong investigative report about the treatment of young women in the booming pornography industry. In 2002, Sawyer presented a groundbreaking two-hour special on gay adoption and the foster care system, featuring Rosie O'Donnell's personal story as a gay parent.
Her other interviews include President George W. Bush in his first national interview; Saddam Hussein, the first Western television interview granted by the former Iraqi president for nearly a decade; President Fidel Castro; Robert MacNamara's public apology on Vietnam; Ellen DeGeneres, who announced her homosexuality; ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega's first interview from prison; Michael Jackson and his then-wife Lisa Marie Presley's only interview; Michael J. Fox's interview about Parkinson's disease and the decision to leave his show; and former First Lady Nancy Reagan on President Reagan's battle with Alzheimer's disease and their 50-year marriage. She also had the first interview at home with the Clintons after the 1992 presidential election.
Sawyer is also an award-winning investigative journalist, on topics ranging from biological weapons production in Russia to daycare abuse. She brought American viewers a shocking report on the warehousing of Russian children in state-run orphanages; a diary of life inside a maximum security prison for women, where Sawyer spent two days and nights; an investigation into the neglect and abuse at state-run institutions for the mentally retarded; and a landmark investigation into pharmacy prescription errors.
Other important investigations include undercover reports on food sanitation at the Food Lion grocery chain and uncovering the questionable business practices of three major televangelists. Sawyer's revealing hidden-camera investigation of racial discrimination, which documented the different experiences of blacks and whites in America, won the Grand Prize in the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards.
Sawyer's overseas reporting includes her coverage of the attempted coup in Moscow, when she made her way into the office of Boris Yeltsin at the moment the attempted Soviet coup was at its crisis. During the Gulf War, she traveled to Egypt to interview President Hosni Mubarak and to Amman, Jordan, where she interviewed King Hussein and Queen Noor. She is one of the few Western journalists ever to report from North Korea on the famine and the government's attempt to keep it secret.
Prior to joining ABC News, Sawyer spent nine years at CBS News. She was the first woman to co-anchor "60 Minutes." Prior to that, she co-anchored the "CBS Morning News" and was CBS News' State Department correspondent.
She was podium correspondent for the 1988 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, and a floor correspondent for the 1984 Republican and Democratic National Conventions and for the 1980 Democratic Convention.
In addition to her Dupont Awards, Robert F. Kennedy awards, and numerous Emmys, her many honors include the grand prize of the premier Investigative Reporters and Editors Association, two George Foster Peabody Awards for public service, an IRTS Lifetime Achievement Award, Broadcast Magazine Hall of Fame, and the USC Distinguished Achievement in Journalism Award. In 1997, she was inducted into the Television Academy of Fame.
Prior to joining CBS News, Sawyer held several positions in the Nixon administration. She was part of the Nixon-Ford transition team from 1974 to 1975. She also assisted former President Nixon in the writing of his memoirs in 1974 and 1975.
Sawyer began her career in broadcasting in 1967 in Louisville, Ky., where she was a reporter for WLKY-TV until 1970.
A native of Glasgow, Ky., and raised in Louisville, Sawyer received a B.A. from Wellesley College in 1967 and completed a semester of law school before deciding on a career in broadcasting.