Bob Schieffer had planned to retire in 2008.
Instead: he published his fourth book, Bob Schieffer’s America, moderated the final debate of the 2008 campaign, received an Emmy for lifetime achievement, was recipient of the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment award by the Radio Television News Directors Association, was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and along with his country music band Honky Tonk Confidential, made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry.
“It was,” Schieffer said, “some kind of year. When I told my boss Sean McManus, the president of CBS News and Sports that I wanted to retire. He said, ‘Don’t you want to stick around to see one more campaign?’ It was the best advice I ever got. I wouldn’t have missed this one for the world.”
Schieffer had also moderated the final debate in 2004 and his handling of the third and final 2008 debate was widely praised by colleagues and those across the political spectrum.
2009 will mark Schieffer’s 52nd year as a reporter and his 40th year at CBS News. He has received virtually every award in broadcast journalism, but he feels the greatest honor was bestowed upon him in March 2005 when his alma mater, Texas Christian University, created the Schieffer School of Journalism. Schieffer anchored the CBS EVENING NEWS from March 10, 2005 to August 31, 2006, an 18 month period that saw a substantial increase in viewers. Schieffer has served as the moderator of FACE THE NATION, CBS News’ Sunday public affairs broadcast, since 1991. He is also CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent, a post he has held since 1982.
Schieffer is one of the few broadcast or print journalists to have covered all four major beats in the nation’s capital – the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department and Capitol Hill. He has covered every presidential campaign and been a floor reporter at all of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions since 1972.
Over the years, he has won seven Emmys and two Sigma Delta Chi Awards. In 2002, the National Press Foundation chose Schieffer as Broadcaster of the Year. He has been a principal anchor for CBS News since 1973. He is also a member of the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was awarded the 2003 Paul White Award by the Radio-Television News Directors Association.
Schieffer anchored the Saturday edition of the CBS EVENING NEWS from 1976 to 1996, and prior to that anchored the Sunday edition of the CBS EVENING NEWS from 1973 to 1976.
Schieffer joined CBS News in 1969 and, after a brief stint as a general assignment reporter, was named Pentagon correspondent, a post he held for four years.
Before joining CBS News, he was a reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and, in 1965, became the first reporter from a Texas newspaper to report from Vietnam. Schieffer later became news anchor at WBAP-TV Dallas/Fort Worth, a post that eventually led to his joining CBS News.
He is the author of four books: Bob Schieffer’s America, published in 2008, The New York Times bestseller, This Just In, What I Couldn’t Tell You On TV, published in 2003, Face The Nation, which was published on the 50th anniversary of that broadcast in 2004 and the best-selling Acting President, published in 1989.
Schieffer has always enjoyed writing poetry. In 2006 he wrote a comic song about a gas station worker who became a TV anchorman and sang it at a local charity event with the band Honky Tonk Confidential. The song was a hit with the audience and he was asked to sing with the band at other Washington events. He wrote other songs for the band, which were included in a cd. And in 2008 he and the band were asked to appear with country music stars Trisha Yearwood and Brad Paisley at the Grand Ole Opry. Schieffer called it “an out of body experience and for a moment there I thought I was in some sort of parallel universe.” He loves performing with the band, but does not plan to give up his day job.
Schieffer was born in Austin, Texas, but calls Ft. Worth, where he grew up, his home. He and his wife reside in Washington, D.C. They have two grown daughters.