Bob Schieffer

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Bob Schieffer
Bob Schieffer.jpg
Schieffer in New York City, April 2006
Born Bob Lloyd Schieffer
(1937-02-25) February 25, 1937 (age 82)
Austin, Texas, U.S.
Education Texas Christian University
Occupation Journalist, anchor
Years active 1963–2015
Notable credit(s) Face the Nation moderator
CBS Evening News 2005–2006
60 Minutes 1973–1996
Title Chief Washington Correspondent; Anchor, Face the Nation
Spouse(s) Patricia Penrose Schieffer (m. 1967)
Children 2
Relatives Tom Schieffer (Brother), Sharon Mayes (Sister)
Website CBS News Bio

Bob Lloyd Schieffer (born February 25, 1937) is an American television journalist who has been with CBS News from 1969 until his retirement in 2015, serving as anchor on the Saturday edition of CBS Evening News for 23 years, from 1973 to 1996, as well as chief Washington correspondent from 1982 until 2015 and moderator of the Sunday public affairs show Face the Nation from 1991 until May 31, 2015. From March 2005 to August 31, 2006, Schieffer was interim weekday anchor of the CBS Evening News and was subsequently one of the primary substitutes for Katie Couric and Scott Pelley.

Schieffer is one of the few journalists to have covered all four of the major Washington national assignments: the White House, the Pentagon, United States Department of State, and United States Congress. His career with CBS has almost exclusively dealt with national politics.

On October 13, 2004, he was the moderator of the third presidential debate between President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry in Tempe, Arizona. On October 15, 2008, Schieffer moderated the third presidential debate between Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain. Schieffer also moderated the third debate of the presidential candidates in 2012, between President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, on October 22 in Boca Raton, Florida.


Schieffer was born on February 25, 1937, in Austin, Texas, to the late John Emmitt Schieffer and the former Gladys Payne, and grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. He is an alumnus of North Side High School, and Texas Christian University (TCU), where he was a member of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps[1] and the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. The College of Communication at TCU was later named after him.[2] After graduating from TCU, he served in the U.S. Air Force as a public information officer stationed at Travis Air Force Base and later McChord Air Force Base.[3] He was honorably discharged and joined the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as a reporter, with one of his key assignments a trip to Vietnam to profile soldiers from the Fort Worth area. At the Star Telegram he received his first major journalistic recognition on November 22, 1963. Shortly after President Kennedy was shot in Dallas, while in the Star-Telegram office, he received a telephone call from a woman in search of a ride to Dallas. The woman was Marguerite Oswald, Lee Harvey Oswald's mother, whom he accompanied to the Dallas police station. He then spent the next several hours there pretending to be a detective, enabling him to have access to an office with a phone. In the company of Oswald's mother Marguerite and his wife, Marina, he was able to use the phone to call in dispatches from other Star-Telegram reporters in the building. This enabled the Star Telegram to create four "Extra" editions on the day of the assassination.[citation needed] Schieffer later joined the Star-Telegram's television station, WBAP-TV in Fort Worth before taking a job with CBS in 1969.

Broadcasting career

Schieffer was anchor of the Sunday evening news broadcast from 1973 to 1997 and of the Saturday evening news broadcast from 1977 until 1996. Between 1970 and 1974, he was assigned to the Pentagon, from 1974 to 1979 he was CBS's White House correspondent, and in 1982 he became Chief Washington Correspondent in addition to his anchor duties.

In the wake of Dan Rather's controversial retirement,[4][5] he was named interim anchor for the weekday CBS Evening News.[6] He assumed that job on March 10, 2005, the day following Rather's last broadcast. Under Schieffer, the CBS Evening News gained about 200,000 viewers, to average 7.7 million viewers, reversing some of the decline in ratings that occurred during Rather's tenure; while NBC Nightly News was down by 700,000 viewers, and ABC's World News Tonight lost 900,000.[7] Schieffer closed the gap with ABC's World News Tonight when co-anchor Bob Woodruff was injured in late January 2006.[citation needed] He made his last CBS Evening News broadcast on August 31, 2006,[8] and was replaced by Katie Couric.[9] On Couric's second broadcast, he returned to provide segments for the evening news as chief Washington correspondent. Schieffer was also a substitute anchor for Couric and Scott Pelley when he became anchor of the evening news in June 2011.

On April 8, 2015, Bob Schieffer announced his retirement while speaking at his alma mater, Texas Christian University, in Fort Worth. Schieffer leaves after working in journalism for 52 years, 46 of those with CBS.[10] His final broadcast as moderator of Face the Nation was on May 31, 2015.


Schieffer has won six Emmy Awards, two Sigma Delta Chi Awards, was named Broadcaster of the Year in 2002 by the National Press Foundation, and was named to the Broadcasting/Cable Hall of Fame.


Schieffer has written three books about his career in journalism: Face the Nation: My Favorite Stories from the First 50 Years of the Award-Winning News Broadcast, This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You on TV, and Bob Schieffer's America.

He has also co-authored a book about Ronald Reagan, The Acting President, with Gary Paul Gates, published in 1989.[12]

Other interests

Since leaving the anchor desk at CBS Evening News in 2006, Schieffer has entertained his longstanding interest in songwriting by collaborating with musicians in New York and Washington, D.C. His latest efforts have resulted in four songs with the Washington area band Honky Tonk Confidential, all of which appear on their CD, Road Kill Stew and Other News (with Special Guest Bob Schieffer). Schieffer sings "TV Anchorman" and wrote the lyrics for the others.

Personal life

Schieffer is the older brother of Tom Schieffer, a friend and former business partner of President George W. Bush, who was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Australia 2001–2005 by President Bush and also served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan from April 2005 through January 2009. On March 2, 2009 Tom Schieffer announced he was forming an exploratory committee that will allow him to seek the Democratic nomination for Governor of Texas. Schieffer also has a sister, Sharon Schieffer Mayes. She is a retired teacher and school administrator who taught science for seventeen years before becoming the vice principal of Dunbar High School in Fort Worth. Sharon Mayes eventually became the high school principal at Keller High School at a time when only 2 percent of the principals in Texas' largest high schools were women. She also had a successful career as an Administrator in the Keller Independent School District.

Schieffer married Patricia Penrose in 1967 and has two daughters.[13]

Schieffer is a survivor of grade III bladder cancer. He was diagnosed in 2003 and has been cancer-free since 2004.[14] He has been diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes, and is on insulin therapy.[15]

Current status

In his most recent memoir, This Just In, Schieffer credits the fact he had been a beat reporter at CBS for his longevity at the network. He also noted a rare off-camera appearance in the Sunday comics. After fellow CBS newscaster and Texan Dan Rather was switched from the White House beat to hosting the documentary show CBS Reports in 1974, the Sunday October 13 edition of the Doonesbury comic strip[16] featured a joking fantasy scene in which Schieffer, his successor, haltingly comments on the transition: "It was the affiliates – they just couldn't take him. I mean let's face it, Dan wasn't exactly MR. TACT!. I dunno.... Maybe it's just as well in the long run, I mean, you know? Anyway, this is Robert Schieffer at the White House...." (Schieffer notes that "The strip was right on except for one thing. My real name is Bob, not Robert"). Schieffer also had a cameo appearance beside Harrison Ford in the 2010 film Morning Glory with CBS News colleague Morley Safer and MSNBC's Chris Matthews.

On April 8, 2015, Schieffer announced his intention to retire as host of Face the Nation.[17] On the April 12 broadcast of the program, he announced that John Dickerson, CBS's current political director, will succeed him, beginning in June.[18]

As he prepared to retire from Face The Nation, Schieffer reflected on the acclaim that came his way during the latter stages of his career. "The interesting thing about my life — a lot of the recognition I got was after most people retired,” he told the New York Times, going on to add, "I think that people just became familiar with me just because I had been there and others had come and gone."[19]

Career timeline

See also


  2. Romenesko, Jim (March 8, 2005). "TCU j-school becomes Bob Schieffer School of Journalism". Poynter Online.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You on TV by Bob Schieffer
  4. Rather: 'Time for me to move on', November 23, 2004
  5. Telling It Slant Slate, November 24, 2004
  6. Dan Rather given a bite by Cronkite The Observer, March 13, 2005
  7. Couric Confirms: She’s Headed for CBS Poynter, April 4, 2006
  8. Katie Couric / CBS Timeline (1975–2010) Poynter, July 19, 2006
  9. Katie Couric says she's leaving ‘Today’ MSNBC, July 4, 2006
  10. ""Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer to retire this summer". Face the Nation. CBS News. April 8, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Paul White Award". Radio Television Digital News Association. Retrieved 2014-05-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Taylor, John H. (15 October 1989). "Good Show, President Reagan : THE ACTING PRESIDENT". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Krinsky, Alissa (August 25, 2008). "SO WHAT DO YOU DO, BOB SCHIEFFER, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, CBS NEWS?". Mediabistro. Retrieved December 25, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Transcript – Bob Schieffer interview with Larry King CNN LARRY KING LIVE, February 22, 2004
  15. Video Interview – Bob Schieffer Faces Diabetes dLife,
  16. Doonesbury comic strip. "Doonesbury by G.B. Trudeau". Retrieved 25 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. John Dickerson will succeed Bob Schieffer on ‘Face the Nation’ Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 "Bob Schieffer". CBS News. June 17, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Lesley Stahl
Face the Nation Moderator
May 26, 1991 – May 31, 2015
Succeeded by
John Dickerson
Preceded by
Dan Rather
CBS Evening News anchor
March 10, 2005 – August 31, 2006
Succeeded by
Katie Couric