Pressman grew up in the New York City Borough of the Bronx. He attended public schools there and was graduated from Morris High School. Pressman is a graduate of New York University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is a past president of the New York Press Club, and as head of that organization fought for the rights of New York's journalists, both print and electronic.
Pressman's many awards for his work include eight Emmy Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and a Peabody Award. He won many of those awards for his coverage of the plight of New York City's homeless population.
Pressman lives with his wife in the New York area. His son lives in Los Angeles. He has three children from a previous marriage.
He is now working on his memoirs.
He is a current member of the Inner Circle
Working life in broadcast journalism
After serving in World War II, Pressman worked for various New York City newspapers before becoming a reporter in 1954 for what then was NBC's radio station WNBC, and moved over to television in 1956. Since 1945, Pressman has covered the lives of ten New York City mayors, ten New York State governors, 15 New York Senators, and 13 United States Presidents. Many of those politicians and other world leaders have said "Well, Gabe" at least once in response to Pressman's pointed questioning.
Pressman was also the co-anchor (with Bill Ryan) of New York's first early-evening half-hour newscast, the Pressman-Ryan Report, born out of a devastating 1963 New York City-area newspaper strike.
Pressman covered the New York region for NBC News, WNBC-TV and WNBC-AM radio. He was sent by the network to report on many historic events, including the 1956 sinking of the Andrea Doria, Elvis Presley's Army stint which went through Brooklyn, one-on-one interviews with Marilyn Monroe, Harry S Truman and Fidel Castro, the 1964 arrival of the Beatles at Kennedy Airport, the murder of Malcolm X, chasing after newly inaugurated New York mayor John Vliet Lindsay in the streets during a 1966 transit strike, the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where he reported on the clashes between demonstrators and police, and the aftermath of the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr..
In Pressman's later WNBC-TV years, he was sent to Israel quite often to cover Middle Eastern crises and conflicts, and often dealt with Israeli, Palestinian and other Mideast politicians and diplomats back in his home base of New York. It was always joked amongst New York television insiders that Gabe had covered Middle Eastern politics since the time of Moses – Robert Moses – but on a serious note Pressman's reporting on Israel pre-dated the state's official 1947 existence.
Gabe Pressman worked with producer Inara de Leon for over 14 years, until the long-time NBC producer asked for, and was granted, an early retirement package in December 2006.
Every Christmas, Pressman re-tells the story of the famed New York Sun column Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus set to drawings by graphic artist Roy Ruan. Gabe's interpretation of the classic tale has been featured every Christmas for over 30 years.
Now in his late 80s, Pressman still works part-time at WNBC, mostly as a blog writer about New York City news on the station's website.