Byron Pitts seemed destined for failure. Diagnosed as functionally illiterate at age 12, he spent summers in a single parent home in Apex and struggled with stuttering. And even after he overcame that and entered Ohio Wesleyan University, Pitts had a professor tell him he should quit because he wasn’t cut out for college.
For all that, today Pitts is one of the most accomplished journalists in America – Chief National Correspondent for the CBS Evening News and a Contributing Correspondent for “60 Minutes.” All it took was an immense amount of hard work and faith, aided by the kindness of strangers. Today he’s a successful reporter and family man.
Pitts will tell his story and talk about his new book, “Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life’s Challenges” (St. Martin’s Press, 304 pages, $24.99) at the Halle Cultural Arts Center of Apex.
Tuesday, June 15, 6:30pm-doors open at 6pm.
Free and open to the public.
This event is co-sponsored by the Wake County Eva Perry Regional Library.
(from CBS) Byron Pitts was named a contributor to “60 Minutes” and chief national correspondent for “The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” in Jan. 2009. He had been a national correspondent since Feb. 2006.
Prior to being named contributor, Pitts reported occasionally for “60 Minutes” since 2006. His first story on the broadcast, an interview with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin in August 2006, made national news. Prodded by Pitts about how long it was taking to clean up his city’s streets a year after Hurricane Katrina, Nagin shot back by mocking New York City’s longtime efforts to rebuild Ground Zero. “That’s alright. You guys in New York City can’t get a hole in the ground fixed and it’s five years later. So let’s be fair,” said Nagin, who later apologized.
Pitts was one of CBS News’ lead reporters during the Sept. 11 attacks and won a national Emmy award for his coverage.
As an embedded reporter covering the Iraq War, he was recognized for his work under fire within minutes of the fall of the Saddam statue. Other major stories covered by Pitts include Hurricane Katrina, the war in Afghanistan, the military buildup in Kuwait, the Florida fires, the Elian Gonzalez story, the Florida Presidential recount, the mudslides in Central America and the refugee crisis in Kosovo.
Pitts was named CBS News correspondent in May 1998 and was based in the Miami (1998-99) and Atlanta (1999-2001) bureaus before moving to New York in January 2001. Before that, Pitts was a correspondent for “CBS Newspath,” the 24-hour affiliate news service of CBS News, based in Washington, D.C. (1997-98).
He joined CBS News from WSB-TV Atlanta, where he was a general assignment reporter (1994-96). Previously, Pitts was a special assignment reporter for WCBV-TV Boston (1989-94) and a reporter and substitute anchor for WFLA-TV Tampa (1988-89). He also served as a reporter for WESH-TV Orlando (1986-88) and as a military reporter for WAVY-TV Virginia (1984-86). While at WNCT-TV Greenville, N.C., he reported and served as weekend sports anchor (1983-84).
Pitts other awards include a national Emmy Award for his coverage of the Chicago train wreck in 1999 and a National Association of Black Journalists Award. He is also the recipient of four Associated Press Awards and six regional Emmy Awards.
Pitts was born on Oct. 21, 1960, in Baltimore, Md. He was graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1982 with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and speech communication. He lives with his wife in Upper Montclair, N.J.