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Brian Williams
Brian Williams Tribeca 2009.jpg
Williams at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Born Brian Douglas Williams
May 5, 1959 (1959-05-05) (age 50)
Elmira, New York, United States
Occupation News Anchor and Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News
Spouse(s) Jane Stoddard Williams[1]
Ethnicity Irish American
Notable credit(s) NBC News reporter
NBC Nightly News anchor (2004–present)
Official website

Brian Douglas Williams (born May 5, 1959) is the American anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, the evening news program of the NBC television network.[1] Williams replaced Tom Brokaw on December 2, 2004. Previously, Williams was the network's chief White House correspondent and host of The News with Brian Williams on CNBC and MSNBC. In 2007, Williams was listed among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World.[2] He lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, with his wife, Jane Stoddard Williams, one of their two children (Doug Williams), and two dogs.


Early life

Williams was raised in a middle class Irish Catholic home. In his childhood his family moved from his birth place, Ridgewood, NJ[3], to Elmira, New York. He lived in Elmira for ten years, before moving to Middletown, New Jersey.

He graduated from Mater Dei High School, a Roman Catholic high school in the New Monmouth section of Middletown.[4] While in high school, he was a volunteer firefighter for three years at the Middletown Township (New Jersey) Fire Department. His first job was as a busboy at Perkins Pancake House.[5]

After high school, he attended Brookdale Community College, before transferring to George Washington University, and then to The Catholic University of America.[6] He did not graduate, instead taking an internship with the administration of President Jimmy Carter. He now calls leaving college one of his "great regrets."[7]

In 2002, he delivered the keynote address at Providence College's commencement and received an honorary doctorate. In 2004, he returned to The Catholic University of America and gave the commencement address. In 2005, delivered the keynote address at commencement at Bates College and received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. In 2008, he received an honorary Doctor of Journalism degree from The Ohio State University. Also in 2008, he delivered the annual Philip J. Murnion Lecture, hosted by the Catholic Common Ground Initiative at Catholic University.[8]

Early career

After working in the lobbying arm of the National Association of Broadcasters, Williams began his broadcasting career at KOAM-TV in Pittsburg, Kansas in 1981. A year later he moved back to Washington, D.C. and worked at WTTG-TV as general assignment reporter.

Salary history

2004 - In December 2004, Williams succeeded Tom Brokaw as anchor of NBC Nightly News. His yearly salary was reported to be $8,000,000.[9]
2006 - In October 2006, Williams's yearly salary was reportedly not less than $10,000,000, according to NBC News President Steve Capus, then chief of NBC News.[10]


He frequently appears on The Daily Show as a celebrity guest interviewed by Jon Stewart. A running gag involving his head being projected on a screen behind Stewart was used several times after The Daily Show moved to a new set in April 2007. He also appeared often on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and appeared with President Barack Obama in a clip on the second broadcast of O'Brien's Tonight Show.

He also appeared on Saturday Night Live on September 30, 2006 to co-anchor the Weekend Update segment with Amy Poehler, but is told by Poehler that Seth Meyers will be co-anchoring the segment. On August 26, 2007 he appeared live with Poehler and Meyers as guest monologist at ASSSSCAT 3000, a weekly show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre hosted by the Upright Citizens Brigade, of which Poehler is a founder.

Williams with his wife, Jane Williams, in 2009.

Williams hosted the November 3, 2007, episode of Saturday Night Live, making him the first national news anchor to host the show. He hosted after a hectic week of moderating the Democratic presidential debate at Drexel University. After moderating the debate which ended at 11PM, he took a ride back to New York to rehearse the show until 6AM Wednesday.[11] On SNL, he offered a monologue where he poked fun at himself being unable to break out of the anchor mode, and played the roles of a NYC fireman on a local talk show speaking about fire safety, an actor who just discovered he lost his job as he is playing his final role, an unenthusiastic winner of $15 million, the debate moderator who confirms that the "media" has already chosen Hillary Clinton as its winner, and as himself preparing a new James Bond-like intro to NBC Nightly News.

In a 2009 episode of 30 Rock entitled "The Ones," Williams makes an appearance as the owner of the phone number that Tracy Jordan gives out to the women to maintain appearances since he has remained always faithful to his wife. He subsequently made cameos in the 2009 episode "Audition" and the 2010 episode "Future Husband."

At the 2007 Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner, Williams was pulled up on stage by improv comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood and made sound effects as the two comedians performed a skit.

In 2007, he agreed to participate in an award and broadcast by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society for citizen awards. The Above & Beyond Citizen Honors was broadcast in March 2008. [12]

On May 19, 2007, Williams delivered the keynote speech at the New Orleans Arena for the Tulane University Class of 2007 Commencement. He previously was awarded the university's highest award, the Tulane President's Medal, on May 31, 2006.

Williams received an honorary Doctorate degree in Journalism and served as the keynote speaker at the Spring Commencement at The Ohio State University on June 8, 2008.

On June 18, 2008, Williams gave a eulogy at Tim Russert's memorial at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He ended his speech by saying "our maker" has brought Russert back home.

Williams appeared on episode 4181 of the popular show Sesame Street on October 24, 2008 as himself, working as a reporter for Sesame Street Nightly News, reporting that "no one is sharing on Sesame Street" and taking part in the show's story. [13] He had previously appeared in episode 4135 on August 13, 2007 delivering the word of the day.

Williams is a fan of indie rock music and hosts a series on the NBC website called "BriTunes" [14] where he interviews musicians and features a playlist of some of his favorite current songs[14]. He has featured artists such as Deer Tick and Great Lake Swimmers in the series.

On February 11, 2009, it was announced that Williams would serve on the Nantucket Film Festival Board of Directors.[15]

Along with Bob Costas, he supports the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation where he is an honorary board member.[16]

Williams also appeared in the Dale Earnhardt Sr. documentary, DALE, in which he describes taking a trip to the 2000 Winston 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway where he and his son got to meet Earnhardt and then got to join Earnhardt for his 76th and final victory of his career.

On November 5, 2009, he appeared on an episode of 30 Rock as himself impersonating a New Jerseyman to get on a TV show.

In January 2010, Brian Williams appeared on The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice!.

On January 13, 2010, Williams was announced as the Commencement Speaker at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana.

On February 22, 2010, when he was providing news coverage from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Williams did a skit with his Canadian namesake, Brian Williams, who serves as CTV's lead sportscaster at CTV's Olympic set.[17][18][19] Some in the media dubbed this the new "Battle of the Brians", as NBC's Williams compared his own modest set to CTV's expensive Olympic studio.[20]

On March 10, 2010, Brian Williams presented the 10,000 Women Entrepreneurial Achievement Award at the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards to Andeisha Farid of Afghanistan.[21]

Notable coverage

Career timeline


  1. ^ a b Brian Williams - Nightly News with Brian Williams -
  2. ^ Brian Williams - The TIME 100 - TIME
  3. ^ "Brian Williams - Meet the faces of MSNBC". MSNBC Interactive. MSNBC. March 18, 2003. Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  4. ^ "Brian Williams". NOPAC Talent. Retrieved October 14, 2007. "Graduated from Mater Dei, a Roman Catholic High School in New Monmouth, NJ." 
  5. ^ The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Friday 5/22/09
  6. ^ Strauss, Robert (October 27, 2002). "IN PERSON; The Life Of Brian, Annotated". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  7. ^ "Remarks by Brian Williams. Tulane University Commencement". May 19, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Williams Gives Common Ground Lecture," America July 21-28, 2008, 8.
  9. ^ "Biography for Brian Williams (III)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  10. ^ Movie & TV News @ - Studio Briefing - October 23, 2006
  11. ^ Gough, Paul J. "Williams still on desk at 'SNL'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  12. ^ "The Congressional Medal of Honor Society Announces Above & Beyond Citizen Honors". Findlaw-PR Newswire. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  13. ^ "Brian Williams - Muppet Wiki". 
  14. ^ a b "Nightly News with Brian Williams-BriTunes". Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  15. ^ Lauer, Andy (February 11, 2009). "Brian Williams Joins NFF Board of Directors". Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  16. ^ "Honorary Board". Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  17. ^ Winnipeg Free Press. Canadian Press. February 22, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Williams skit lights up dull morning show". The Toronto Sun ( February 22, 2010. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ Vlessing, Etan (February 22, 2010). "Olympics has new Battle of the Brians". Hollywood Reporter. 
  21. ^ "2010 Global Leadership Awards". Vital Voices. March 3, 2010. 

External links

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