Lehrer at the 2007 Texas Book Festival
|Born||James Charles Lehrer
May 19, 1934
Wichita, Kansas, US
|Education||Victoria College (Texas)
University of Missouri
|Occupation||Journalist, news anchor, author|
|Notable credit(s)||PBS NewsHour
The Dallas Morning News
The Dallas Times Herald
|Spouse(s)||Kate Lehrer (1960–)|
James Charles "Jim" Lehrer (//; born May 19, 1934) is an American journalist and the executive editor and former news anchor for PBS NewsHour on PBS, known for his role as a frequent debate moderator during elections. Lehrer is an author of non-fiction and fiction, drawing from his experiences and interests in history and politics.
Lehrer was born in Wichita, Kansas, the son of Lois Catherine (née Chapman), a bank clerk, and Harry Frederick Lehrer, a bus station manager. He attended middle school in Beaumont, Texas, and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School (San Antonio, TX), where he was one of the three sports editors at the Jefferson Declaration. He also graduated with A.A. from Victoria College in Texas and with B.J. from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri in 1956. Lehrer joined the United States Marine Corps and attributes his service and travels with helping him to look past himself and feel a connection to the world that he would not have otherwise experienced.
In 1959, Lehrer began his career in journalism at The Dallas Morning News. Then, he reported for the Dallas Times-Herald, where he was covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 and other events until 1966, was a political columnist for several years, and became the city editor in 1968.
He began his TV career at Dallas KERA-TV as executive director of public affairs, on-air host, and editor of a nightly news program. Then he moved to PBS in Washington, DC to become the public affairs coordinator, a member of Journalism Advisory Board, and a fellow at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Next, Lehrer worked as a correspondent for the National Public Affairs Center for Television (NPACT) where he met Robert MacNeil. In 1973, they covered the Senate Watergate hearings & the revelation of the Tapes broadcast live on PBS. Lehrer also covered the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment inquiry of Richard Nixon.
In October 1975, Lehrer became the Washington correspondent for the "Robert MacNeil Report" on Thirteen/WNET New York. In 1976, it was renamed "The MacNeil/Lehrer Report". In September 1983, Lehrer and MacNeil launched The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, and after MacNeil's departure in 1995 was named The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and finally PBS NewsHour in 2009.
On May 12, 2011, Lehrer announced he would be stepping down as anchor of PBS NewsHour on June 6, 2011, but would continue to moderate the Friday news analysis segments, and would continue to be involved with the show's production company, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions.
Presidential debate moderator
Nicknamed the "Dean of Moderators" by CNN's Bernard Shaw, Lehrer has moderated 12 presidential candidate debates, including the first presidential debate between senators Barack Obama and John McCain on September 26, 2008. Lehrer has been involved in several debate-related projects, including the Debating Our Destiny documentaries in 2000 and 2008. The documentaries feature excerpts of Lehrer's exclusive interviews with most of the presidential and vice presidential candidates since 1976.
Lehrer hosted the first United States presidential election debate for the 2012 U.S. presidential general election. He originally had sworn off moderating any debates after 2008, but the Commission on Presidential Debates persisted, and he accepted, interested in a new format. The debate was held at the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado and covered domestic policy issues. Coming out of semi-retirement to moderate his 12th presidential debate, Lehrer came under criticism by some on social media and in the press for his lack of control and open-ended questions. Conversely, he was also praised for letting the candidates have some control in the debate in their own terms.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (October 2012)|
Lehrer is a bus enthusiast. His father was a bus driver and also briefly operated a bus company. As a college student in the 1950s, he worked as a Trailways ticket agent in Victoria, Texas. He is a supporter of the Pacific Bus Museum in Williams, California and the Museum of Bus Transportation in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He is a collector of bus memorabilia, including depot signs, driver caps, and antique toy buses.
Honors and awards
- American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow (1991)
- University of Missouri School of Journalism's Medal of Honor
- William Allen White Foundation Award for Journalistic Merit
- George Foster Peabody Award
- Fred Friendly First Amendment Award,
- Emmy Award
- National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle (1999)
- Television Hall of Fame (1999)
- National Humanities Medal (1999)
Novels (One-Eyed Mack Series)
- Lehrer, Jim (1988). Kick the Can. New York: Putnam. ISBN 0-399-13350-X.
- Lehrer, Jim (1989). Crown Oklahoma. New York: Putnam. ISBN 0-399-13434-4.
- Lehrer, Jim (1990). The Sooner Spy. New York: Putnam. ISBN 0-399-13536-7.
- Lehrer, Jim (1991). Lost and Found. New York: Putnam. ISBN 0-399-13601-0.
- Lehrer, Jim (1992). Short List. New York: Putnam. ISBN 0-399-13665-7.
- Lehrer, Jim (1994). Fine Lines. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-517-16435-3.
Novels (Charlie Henderson Series)
- Lehrer, Jim (1993). Blue Hearts. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-42216-1.
- Lehrer, Jim (1998). Purple Dots. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-45237-0.
- Lehrer, Jim (1966). Viva Max!. New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce. ASIN B001TNUMVE.
- Lehrer, Jim (1995). The Last Debate. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-517-17761-7.
- Lehrer, Jim (1996). White Widow. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-45236-2.
- Lehrer, Jim (2000). The Special Prisoner. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-375-50371-4.
- Lehrer, Jim (2002). No Certain Rest. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-375-50372-2.
- Lehrer, Jim (2004). Flying Crows: A Novel. New York: Random House. ISBN 1-4000-6197-0.
- Lehrer, Jim (2005). The Franklin Affair. New York: Random House. ISBN 1-4000-6198-9.
- Lehrer, Jim (2006). The Phony Marine. New York: Random House. ISBN 1-4000-6486-4.
- Lehrer, Jim (2007). Eureka. New York: Random House. ISBN 1-4000-6487-2.
- Lehrer, Jim (2009). Oh, Johnny. New York: Random House. ISBN 1-4000-6762-6.
- Lehrer, Jim (2010). Super. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6763-3.
- Lehrer, Jim (2013). Top Down: A Novel of the Kennedy Assassination. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6916-3.
- Lehrer, Jim (1975). We Were Dreamers. New York: Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-10693-9.
- Lehrer, Jim (1992). A Bus of My Own. New York: Putnam. ISBN 0-399-13765-3.
- Lehrer, Jim (2011). Tension City. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6917-0.
- An adaptation of White Widow has been written by Luke Wilson
- Viva Max! (1969) writing credit with Elliott Baker
- The Last Debate (2000) writing credit with Jon Maas
- The Will and Bart Show
- Church Key Charlie Blue
- Chili Queen
- "Jim Lehrer Biography (1934–)". film reference. 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
- Jim Lehrer (November 10, 2006). "Jim Lehrer Reflects on Marines at Museum Dedication". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
- Jim Lehrer (June 8, 2008). "Commencement speech of Jim Lehrer". Harvard University. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
- "About Us: Jim Lehrer, Executive Editor". The PBS NewsHour. 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- The Associated Press (April 25, 2008). "NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer Has Heart surgery". The International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- Farhi, Paul (May 12, 2011). "Jim Lehrer to step down from daily broadcast at 'NewsHour'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- Associated Press (September 29, 2004). "Jim Lehrer: 'The Dean of Moderators'". MSNBC.com. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- Debating Our Destiny website
- Brian Stelter and Michael D. Shear (October 4, 2012). "Criticism Greets List of Debate Moderators". The New York Times. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- Bauder, David (October 4, 2012). "Tough reviews for Jim Lehrer as debate moderator". San Francisco Chronicle (Hearst Communications Inc.). Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- kaue95 (October 4, 2012). "Jim Lehrer's debate performance criticized, defended and analyzed". Youtube. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- Simon, Brent (August 13, 2008). "Luke Wilson Wants to Direct... Again". Shared Darkness. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- Truitt, Brian (September 8, 2010). "Luke Wilson shoots for the top in 'Middle Men'". USA Today. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- Art at Our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers and Artists featuring Jim Lehrer. Edited by Nan Cuba and Riley Robinson (Trinity University Press, 2008).
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- Biography on PBS NewsHour
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Jim Lehrer at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Jim Lehrer in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- 1998 UW Commencement Speech
- Write TV Public Television Interview with Jim Lehrer
- Archive of American Television interview
- A conversation with Jim Lehrer, on The Media Report, May 10, 2007
- Jim Lehrer discusses his novel, The Phony Marine (video)
|NewsHour/PBS NewsHour anchor
|Notes and references|
|1. Lehrer co-anchored with MacNeil from 1975 to 1995.|