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Texas State University
Texas State University

Jim Lehrer

PBS News Anchor, Author
Tuesday, February 11, 1997 · Evans Auditorium · 7:30 p.m.

Jim Lehrer's career in the news business began in Dallas in 1959. He wrote for both the Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Times-Herald. In 1968 he was named city editor of the Times-Herald

Lehrer's newspaper career led him to public television, first in Dallas as KERA-TV's executive director of public affairs, on-air host and editor of a nightly news program. He later moved to Washington, D.C., to serve as the public affairs coordinator for PBS, and was also a member of the PBS Journalism Advisory Board and a fellow at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He went on to join the National Public Affairs Center for Television (NPACT) as a correspondent.

It was Lehrer's work with NPACT that led to his initial association with Robert MacNeil and to their long-term partnership. In October 1975, the half-hour Robert MacNeil Report, with Jim Lehrer as the Washington correspondent, premiered. The program was later renamed The MacNeil/Lehrer Report and then The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.

The 1995-96 season marked MacNeil's departure from the program and it was renamed The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Lehrer has won numerous awards for journalism, including several Emmys, the George Foster Peabody Broadcast Award, the William Allen White Foundation Award for Journalistic Merit and the University of Missouri School of Journalism Medal of Honor. In 1991, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Lehrer is also the author of several novels. His latest at the time of this speech, White Widow, was released by Random House.

—Adapted from the original press release distributed before Jim Lehrer's LBJ Distinguished Lecture

“Anytime you write fiction, you write it, put it out there and wait for people to tell you what it means. And that’s been stunning to me in this particular book, the kinds of responses I’ve gotten. ‘Oh, my God,. you meant. . .’ I didn’t mean anything. I was just telling a story.”