Hugh Downs

Past Global Perspectives Guest Speaker

Hugh Downs, one of the most familiar American television figures in the history of the medium, will share experiences from his distinguished career on the April 4, 2010 voyage. He was the host of ABC News’ 20/20, the prime-time newsmagazine program, for over 20 years. And previous to that he was host of NBC News’ Today program.

In September, 1962, Mr. Downs began a nine-year career as host of the Today program where, each morning, he reported to the nation on the news of the day and interviewed statesmen and leaders from around the world.

In addition to his role as host of 20/20, he went into the field to report news features and to profile important personalities. He prefered to concentrate on issues of science, medicine, aging, adventure, the fine arts and family. He also providedcommentary in connection with various 20/20 reports.

A selection of his widely acclaimed adventure stories and travels around the globe -- trademarks of his 14 years with the broadcast -- was a special segment included in a two-hour retrospective program in 1988, marking the tenth anniversary of 20/20.

Mr. Downs has enjoyed a distinguished career in radio and television as a reporter, newscaster, interviewer, narrator and host. In 1985 he was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as holding the record for the greatest number of hours on network commercial television. And in May, 1989, Mr. Downs celebrated his 50th anniversary in broadcasting (both radio and television).

He has moved on to other things of additional interest, including writing, teaching, lecturing, private consulting in communications, and other opportunities in television. He is the author of seven books.

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