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Miles O'Brien, III
Born Miles O'Brien, III
June 9, 1959
Education Georgetown University
Official website

Miles O'Brien (born June 9, 1959) is a broadcast news journalist specializing in aviation, space and technology.

Based in New York City, he served as CNN's chief technology and environment correspondent. He was also the network’s space and aviation correspondent and an occasional stand-in anchor. He anchored The Situation Room on November 26, 2008, covering the terrorist attack in Mumbai on the Oberoi Trident and Taj Mahal Hotels, as well as several other locations.

He covered Hurricane Katrina for several weeks anchoring CNN’s Peabody and Dupont Award-winning coverage.

During his 16-year tenure at CNN, he anchored several news and talk programs, including Science and Technology Week, Saturday Morning, Sunday Morning, TalkBack Live, Headline News Primetime, Live From... and, most recently, American Morning.

It was announced on December 3, 2008 that O'Brien would be leaving CNN, along with 6 producers, as a result of the company disbanding most of its science and technology unit.

In April 2009 he joined True/Slant as a blogger; in May, he began as a recurrent video contributor for the Boing Boing podcast This Week in Space.

In 2009 Miles joined PBS working on Blueprint America that deals with rebuilding America infrastructure where the redirection of focus from the auto to high-speed rail and other mass transit options.

On October 15, 2009, Miles made an appearance on Fox Business News covering the breaking news story of the Colorado runaway mylar helium balloon with a supposedly trapped child inside the balloon.

On October 27, 2009, Miles publicly announced that he has been made a member of the NASA Advisory Council.


CNN space coverage

O’Brien may be best known for his coverage of the U.S. space program. In February 2003, he led the network’s coverage of the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Days before the disaster (and after years of negotiations), CNN and NASA had reached an agreement that would have made O’Brien the first journalist to fly to low earth orbit on the space shuttle to visit the International Space Station.

O’Brien also covered the repair missions to the Hubble Space Telescope; the shuttle dockings at Mir; the launch of the first space station crew from Kazakhstan; several robotic landings on Mars and the private sector endeavors of Burt Rutan and others.

In October 1998, he co-anchored CNN’s coverage of John Glenn’s return to space with broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite. He was assigned this chair after the sudden death of John Holliman.

In 2000, he produced, shot and wrote a one-hour documentary on the process of readying a space shuttle for flight. Terminal Count: What it Takes to Make the Space Shuttle Fly aired in May 2001.

In the wake of the September 11 attacks, O'Brien provided viewers radar tracks of the hijacked flights while the twin towers were still standing. During the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions, he, along with various retired generals, reported on military aviation techniques and strategy.

O'Brien reported the airliner crashes of US Airways Flight 427, ValuJet 592, TWA 800, EgyptAir 990, American Airlines 587, Comair 5191, and others.

He has also reported on the crashes of John F. Kennedy, Jr., Payne Stewart, and Paul Wellstone, the C-150 incursion into the DC ADIZ and the Cory Lidle crash in Manhattan.

Early life

O’Brien is a third-generation general aviation pilot. His father, a private pilot, taught him how to fly at an early age. His first flights were in small Cessnas and Pipers rented by his father. O'Brien's family has a history of aviation: his paternal and maternal grandfathers were also both pilots.


  • 1986 – Florida Emmy Award “Outstanding Coverage of a Single Breaking News Story” (Reporter) St. Petersburg Chlorine Leak
  • 1989 – Boston/New England Emmy Award “Outstanding News Series” (Producer/Reporter) Boundaries of Fear
  • 1990 – CINE “Golden Eagle” (Producer/Reporter) Boundaries of Fear
  • 1993 – Computer Press Awards “Best Television Program” (Anchor/Correspondent/Writer) CNN Science and Technology Week
  • 1993 – National Association of Science Writers “Science in Society Award” (Anchor/Correspondent/Writer) Sweet Fruit – Bitter Harvest.
  • 1996 – News and Documentary Emmy Award “Outstanding Coverage of a Single breaking News Story” (Anchor) Coverage of the Olympic Park Bombing
  • 2002 – Rotary National Award for Space Achievement “Space Communicator Award”
  • 2002 – National Space Club “Media Award”
  • 2006 – Society of Environmental Journalists “Award for Reporting on the Environment (Anchor/Correspondent/Writer) CNN Presents: Melting Point
  • 2006 – National Press Club “Robert L Kozik Award for Environmental Reporting – First Place” (Anchor/Correspondent/Writer) CNN Presents: Melting Point
  • 2006 – Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association “Max Karant Award for Excellence in General Aviation Journalism” (Correspondent) Small Planes
  • 2006 – George Foster Peabody, Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University and News and Documentary Emmy Awards (Anchor/Correspondent) CNN Coverage of Hurricane Katrina and Aftermath CNN

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