CBS News Veteran Steve Kroft Kicks Off Open VISIONS Forum Lecture Series
One of America’s most respected journalists and a longtime correspondent for CBS, Steve Kroft, opens Fairfield University's signature lecture series, Open VISIONS Forum, at 8 p.m., Monday, September 16, 2013, at Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. In his lecture entitled “My Years in Journalism,” Mr. Kroft will share stories from his extensive career in war correspondence and with CBS News and 60 Minutes. Introducing Mr. Kroft will be Michael Serazio, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication at Fairfield University and newly appointed as deputy director of Open VISIONS Forum. Following Mr. Kroft’s presentation, there will be an informal conversation and discussion with Dr. Serazio and Philip Eliasoph, Ph.D., professor of art history and founder/moderator of Open VISIONS Forum. Moffly Media is the exclusive magazine sponsor for the 2013-14 Open VISIONS Forum series. Single tickets are $45.
Few journalists have achieved the impact and recognition that Steve Kroft has, in a career that includes 23 seasons on the most watched news program on television. Kroft was named a correspondent of 60 Minutes in May 1989 and delivered his first report that fall. Before joining 60 Minutes, he was a principal correspondent on the CBS News magazine West 57th, and before that, a foreign correspondent for CBS News based in the London bureau, a period during which he covered international terrorism in Europe and the Middle East, including the TWA hijacking in Beirut, the massacres at the Rome and Vienna airports by the Abu Nidal terrorist cell, and the Achille Lauro hijacking. He has also covered the war in Beirut and the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. His report on the assassination of Indira Gandhi for the CBS Evening News won an Emmy Award.
In 2008, he landed what was arguably the biggest interview of the year: the first post-election sit-down with Barack and Michelle Obama. It was broadcast on 60 Minutes November 16 to over 25 million viewers, the largest primetime television audience of the season to that point. Kroft’s 60 Minutes story on insider trading in the U.S. Congress in late 2011 drove the passage of Senate and House versions of the STOCK Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) to prevent members of Congress from financial market trading based on nonpublic information learned in the course of their congressional work. He also reported two of the biggest news stories of 2011, getting an exclusive interview with President Barack Obama on the killing of Osama bin Laden and revealing that author and humanitarian Greg Mortenson lied in his best-selling book, Three Cups of Tea.
Kroft is the only 60 Minutes correspondent to win two Peabody Awards in the same year, bringing his total number of television’s most prestigious award to five. He is also a recipient of two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University silver batons and 11 Emmy awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Emmy for his body of work. His 60 Minutes piece on the Immigration and Naturalization Service, entitled “I.N.S.,” was cited as one of the reports for which CBS News won the 2003 Overall Excellence Award from the Radio/Television News Directors Association. He was honored with the prestigious Renner Award for reporting on organized crime for his story “The Worst Nightmare,” which was the first to document the involvement of the Russian mafia in the smuggling of nuclear materials out of the former Soviet Union. His exclusive interview with then Gov. Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, was reported on the front page of virtually every newspaper in the country, and continues to be cited as a defining moment of that presidential election.
Kroft was born August 22, 1945, in Kokomo, Indiana. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1967 with a bachelor of science degree, and was honored by that institution in 1992 with the George Arents Medal, the highest honor the university gives to an alumnus. Kroft earned a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Indiana University. He served with the United States Army in Vietnam as a correspondent and photographer for Pacific Stars and Stripes. He is married to journalist Jennet Conant. They live in New York with their son, John Conant Kroft.
In his lecture, Steve Kroft presents a “no-holds-barred” exploration of his experiences that include surviving a plane crash, covering wars in five continents, and meeting some of the world’s most influential people. He also offers an inside look at how news is reported and the affects it has on today’s society.
Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396. (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.quickcenter.com.
The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit www.quickcenter.com