Broadcast Journalist David Brinkley, Native of Wilmington

Chet Huntley (left) and David Brinkley (right) anchor NBC’s coverage of the 1960 presidential election. Image from the  Hugh Morton Collection at UNC LibrariesOn July 10, 1920, broadcaster David Brinkley was born in Wilmington.

Brinkley got his start reporting with the Wilmington Morning Star in 1938. After serving briefly in the Army, Brinkley was hired by the NBC radio network as a news writer partly for his knack for “writing for the ear.” In 1956, he was paired with Chet Huntley to cover the Republican and Democratic national conventions. The two proved so popular that NBC tapped them to anchor the evening television news program The Huntley Brinkley Report.  The program went on to become the number one rated evening newscast of the 1960s. Brinkley reported from Washington, D.C. and Huntley from New York. In 1981, Brinkley went to work for ABC and hosted a Sunday morning interview program This Week with David Brinkley.

The title of his 1995 book, David Brinkley: 11 Presidents, 4 Wars, 22 Political Conventions, 1 Moon Landing, 3 Assassinations, 2,000 Weeks of News and Other Stuff on Television and 18 Years of Growing Up in North Carolina, reflects the breadth of his career.

Among Brinkley’s accolades are 10 Emmys, three George Foster Peabody Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Brinkley died at his home in Texas in 2003 at the age of 82. He is buried in Wilmington’s Oakdale Cemetery.

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