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David McClure Brinkley (July 10, 1920 – June 11, 2003) was an American newscaster for NBC
NBC
and ABC in a career lasting from 1943 to 1997. From 1956 through 1970, he co-anchored NBC's top-rated nightly news program, The Huntley–Brinkley Report, with Chet Huntley
Chet Huntley
and thereafter appeared as co-anchor or commentator on its successor, NBC Nightly News, through the 1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s, Brinkley was host of the popular Sunday This Week with David Brinkley
This Week with David Brinkley
program and a top commentator on election-night coverage for ABC News. Over the course of his career, Brinkley received ten Emmy Awards, three George Foster Peabody Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[2] He wrote three books, including the critically acclaimed 1988 bestseller Washington Goes to War, about how World War II
World War II
transformed the nation's capital. This social history was largely based on his own observations as a young reporter in the city.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Career 3 Retirement 4 Death 5 Television career 6 References 7 External links

Early life[edit] Brinkley was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, the youngest of five children born to William Graham Brinkley and Mary MacDonald (née West) Brinkley. He began writing for a local newspaper, the Wilmington Morning Star, while still attending New Hanover High School. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Emory University, and Vanderbilt University, before entering service in the United States Army
United States Army
in 1940. Following a medical discharge, he worked for United Press
United Press
in several of its Southern bureaus.[1] In 1943, he moved to Washington, D.C., looking for a radio job at CBS
CBS
News. Instead, he took a job at NBC
NBC
News, became its White House correspondent, and in time began appearing on television. Career[edit] In 1952, Brinkley began providing Washington reporting on NBC Television's evening news program, The Camel News Caravan
Camel News Caravan
(the name changed over time), hosted by John Cameron Swayze. In 1956, NBC
NBC
News executives considered various possibilities to anchor the network's coverage of the Democratic and Republican political conventions, and when executive J. Davidson Taylor suggested pairing two reporters (he had in mind Bill Henry and Ray Scherer), producer Reuven Frank, who favored Brinkley for the job, and NBC's director of news, Joseph Meyers, who favored Chet Huntley, proposed combining Huntley and Brinkley. NBC's top brass consented, but they had so little confidence in the team that they withheld announcing it for two months.[3] Their concern proved unfounded. The pairing worked so well that on October 29, 1956, the two took over NBC's flagship nightly newscast, with Huntley in New York City and Brinkley in Washington, D.C., for the newly christened Huntley–Brinkley Report. Brinkley's dry wit offset the serious tone set by Huntley, and the program proved popular with audiences turned off by the incessantly serious tone of CBS's news broadcasts of that era. Brinkley's ability to write for the ear with simple, declarative sentences gained him a reputation as one of the medium's most talented writers, and his connections in Washington led CBS's Roger Mudd
Roger Mudd
to observe, "Brinkley, of all the TV guys here, probably has the best sense of the city--best understands its moods and mentality. He knows Washington and he knows the people."[4] Most often described as "wry," Brinkley once suggested on the air that the best way to resolve the controversy over whether to change the name of Boulder Dam to "Hoover Dam" was to have former president Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
change his name to "Herbert Boulder". Another example of Brinkley's seething wryness was evinced on the third night of Chicago's infamous Democratic Convention of 1968. After continuous abuses made on the floor of the convention of NBC correspondents – namely, interference and shadowing of the media staff by supporters of Hubert Humphrey, presumably with connections to political boss Richard J. Daley
Richard J. Daley
– voiced a protest of Daley's behavior and his alleged interference with freedoms of the press following Senator Abraham Ribicoff's stormy nomination of George McGovern. Perhaps in reply to a control room for objectivity, referencing Daley's refusal to be interviewed by John Chancellor earlier in the evening, Brinkley can be heard over the McGovern demonstration to have scolded "Mayor Daley had his chance!"[5]

External video

Booknotes interview with Brinkley on A Memoir, December 10, 1995, C-SPAN

The catchphrase conclusion to each evening's broadcast, "Good night, Chet; Good night, David," entered the language, and it was followed by the beginning of the second movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, played as the program credits rolled. The Huntley–Brinkley Report was America's most popular television newscast until it was overtaken, at the end of the 1960s, by the CBS
CBS
Evening News, anchored by Walter Cronkite. Brinkley and his co-anchor gained such celebrity that Brinkley was forced to cut short his reporting on Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
in the 1960 West Virginia primary because West Virginians were more interested in meeting Brinkley than the candidate.[6] From 1961 to 1963, Brinkley anchored a prime time news magazine, David Brinkley's Journal. Produced by Ted Yates, the program won a George Foster Peabody Award
Peabody Award
and two Emmy Awards.[7] When Huntley retired from the anchor chair in 1970, the evening news program was renamed NBC
NBC
Nightly News, and Brinkley co-anchored the broadcast with John Chancellor
John Chancellor
and Frank McGee. In 1971, Chancellor was named sole anchor and Brinkley became the program's commentator, delivering three-minute perspectives several times a week under the title David Brinkley's Journal. By 1976, though, NBC
NBC
decided to revive the dual-anchor format, and Brinkley once again anchored the Washington desk for the network, until October 1979. However, the early years of Nightly News never achieved the popularity Huntley-Brinkley Report
Huntley-Brinkley Report
had enjoyed. For its part, NBC
NBC
attempted to launch several news magazine shows during the 1970s with Brinkley as anchor; none of them succeeded. An unhappy Brinkley left NBC
NBC
in 1981; NBC
NBC
Magazine was his last show for that network. Almost immediately after leaving NBC, Brinkley was offered a job at ABC. ABC News
ABC News
President Roone Arledge was anxious to replace ABC's Sunday morning news program, Issues and Answers, which had always lagged far behind CBS's Face the Nation
Face the Nation
and NBC's Meet the Press. Brinkley was tapped for the job, and in 1981 began hosting This Week with David Brinkley. This Week revolutionized the Sunday morning news program format, featuring not only several correspondents interviewing guest news makers, but also following up with an opinionated round table of discussion. The format proved highly successful and was soon imitated by Brinkley's NBC
NBC
and CBS
CBS
rivals, as well as new programs which later came into existence. As part of the remembrance of World War II, Brinkley and ABC News produced the special The Battle of the Bulge: 50 years On, with Brinkley hosting and interviewing survivors of the battle from both sides. The special, which aired during the Christmas 1994 period, was well received both critically and in viewership. Retirement[edit] Days before his announced retirement from regular news coverage, Brinkley made a rare on-air mistake during evening coverage of the 1996 presidential election, at a moment when he thought they were on commercial break. One of his colleagues asked him what he thought of Bill Clinton's re-election. He called Clinton "a bore" and added, "The next four years will be filled with pretty words, and pretty music, and a lot of goddamn nonsense!" One of his team pointed out that they were still on the air. Brinkley said, "Really? Well, I'm leaving anyway!" Brinkley worked this mistake into a chance for an apology as part of a one-on-one interview with Clinton that followed a week or so later. Brinkley stepped down from hosting This Week on November 10, 1996, but continued to provide small commentary pieces for the show until 1997. He then fully retired from television. He had been an electronic journalist for over fifty years and had been anchor or host of a daily or weekly national television program for just over forty years. His career lasted from the beginning of televised news to the information age. During his career, David Brinkley
David Brinkley
won ten Emmy Awards
Emmy Awards
and three George Foster Peabody Awards. In 1958 Brinkley received the Alfred I. duPont Award.[8] In 1982 he received the Paul White Award for lifetime achievement from the Radio Television Digital News Association.[9] In 1988, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.[10] In 1992, President George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. Bush called him "the elder statesman of broadcast journalism"; but Brinkley was much more humble. In an interview in 1992, he said "Most of my life, I've simply been a reporter covering things, and writing and talking about it". Brinkley is the father of historian and former Columbia University Provost, Alan Brinkley, and of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Stanford professor, Joel Brinkley. Death[edit] Brinkley died in 2003 at his home in Houston, from complications after a year of illness due to a fall at his other home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, according to his son John Brinkley.[11] His body was interred at Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington, North Carolina. Television career[edit]

1951–1956 Camel News Caravan
Camel News Caravan
(correspondent) 1956–1970 NBC
NBC
News/The Huntley-Brinkley Report 1961–1963 David Brinkley's Journal, produced by Ted Yates, aired on Wednesday nights 10:30–11:00 p.m. 1971–1976 NBC
NBC
Nightly News (commentator only) 1976–1979 NBC
NBC
Nightly News (co-anchor) 1980–1981 NBC
NBC
Magazine with David Brinkley 1981–1996 This Week with David Brinkley 1981–1998 ABC World News Tonight
ABC World News Tonight
(commentator) 1991 Pearl Harbor: Two Hours That Changed The World with David Brinkley (50th anniversary)[12] 1994 David Brinkley
David Brinkley
Reports: The Battle of the Bulge; 50 Years On

References[edit]

^ a b Severo, Richard (June 12, 2003). "David Brinkley, Elder Statesman of TV News, Dies at 82". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-11-01.  ^ "David Brinkley, Legendary NBC
NBC
Newsman, Dies at 82". USA Today. Associated Press. June 12, 2003.  ^ Frank, Reuven. Out of Thin Air: The Brief Wonderful Life of Network News. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991, pp. 100–02. ^ "An Accident of Casting," The New Yorker (1968-08-03), p. 41. ^ http://www.museum.tv/exhibitionssection.php?page=466 part seven ^ "An Accident of Casting," The New Yorker (1968-08-03), p. 34. ^ Thomas A. Mascaro, They Beat the Clock--NBC's Innovative Newsmagazine, David Brinkley's Journal (1961–1963) Television Quarterly. ^ All duPont–Columbia Award Winners Archived August 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., Columbia Journalism School. Retrieved 2013-08-06. ^ "Paul White Award". Radio Television Digital News Association. Retrieved 2014-05-27.  ^ " Television Hall of Fame Honorees: Complete List".  ^ http://www.chron.com/entertainment/article/Veteran-newscaster-David-Brinkley-dies-2105488.php ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uC65MC7N63Y&t=1073s

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to David Brinkley.

David Brinkley
David Brinkley
obituary by Richard Severo, The New York Times ABC News
ABC News
biography of David Brinkley
David Brinkley
at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived July 9, 1997) Working with Brinkley by Ron Steiman (1960–1961) David Brinkley
David Brinkley
collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society – Over 150,000 documents covering Brinkley's career David Brinkley
David Brinkley
interview video at the Archive of American Television Appearances on C-SPAN David Brinkley
David Brinkley
at Find a Grave

Links to related articles

Media offices

Preceded by John Cameron Swayze (as Camel News Caravan) NBC
NBC
evening news anchors (as The Huntley-Brinkley Report) October 29, 1956 – July 31, 1970 (with Chet Huntley) Succeeded by John Chancellor, Frank McGee, and David Brinkley

Preceded by Chet Huntley
Chet Huntley
and David Brinkley (as The Huntley-Brinkley Report) NBC
NBC
evening news anchors (as the NBC
NBC
Nightly News) August 1, 1970 – August 8, 1971 (with John Chancellor
John Chancellor
and Frank McGee) Succeeded by John Chancellor

Preceded by John Chancellor NBC
NBC
evening news anchors (as the NBC
NBC
Nightly News) June 7, 1976 – October 4, 1979 (with John Chancellor) Succeeded by John Chancellor

Preceded by None This Week anchor November 15, 1981 – December 8, 1996 Succeeded by Sam Donaldson
Sam Donaldson
and Cokie Roberts

v t e

NBC
NBC
Chief White House
White House
Correspondents

David Brinkley Sander Vanocur John Chancellor Herb Kaplow Richard Valeriani Tom Brokaw Marilyn Berger Judy Woodruff Chris Wallace John Palmer Andrea Mitchell Brian Williams David Bloom Claire Shipman David Gregory Chuck Todd Chris Jansing Hallie Jackson

v t e

Anchors of the NBC
NBC
Nightly News

John Cameron Swayze Chet Huntley David Brinkley Frank McGee John Chancellor Roger Mudd Tom Brokaw Brian Williams Lester Holt

v t e

TCA Career Achievement Award

Grant Tinker
Grant Tinker
(1985) Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite
(1986) Hill Street Blues
Hill Street Blues
(1987) David Brinkley
David Brinkley
(1988) Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball
(1989) Jim Henson
Jim Henson
(1990) Brandon Tartikoff
Brandon Tartikoff
(1991) Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson
(1992) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
(1993) Charles Kuralt
Charles Kuralt
(1994) Ted Turner
Ted Turner
(1995) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
(1996) Fred Rogers
Fred Rogers
(1997) Roone Arledge (1998) Norman Lear
Norman Lear
(1999) Dick Van Dyke
Dick Van Dyke
(2000) Sid Caesar
Sid Caesar
(2001) Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby
(2002) Carl Reiner
Carl Reiner
(2003) Don Hewitt
Don Hewitt
(2004) Bob Newhart
Bob Newhart
(2005) Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett
(2006) Mary Tyler Moore
Mary Tyler Moore
(2007) Lorne Michaels
Lorne Michaels
(2008) Betty White
Betty White
(2009) James Garner
James Garner
(2010) Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
(2011) David Letterman
David Letterman
(2012) Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters
(2013) James Burrows (2014) James L. Brooks
James L. Brooks
(2015) Lily Tomlin
Lily Tomlin
(2016) Ken Burns
Ken Burns
(2017)

v t e

Television Hall of Fame Class of 1988

Jack Benny George Burns
George Burns
and Gracie Allen Chet Huntley
Chet Huntley
and David Brinkley Red Skelton David Susskind David L. Wolper

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 109954410 LCCN: n83073306 ISNI: 0000 0001 1779 6832 GND: 124181430 SUDOC: 079038484 BIBSYS: 7005

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