Kuralt Receives Journalism Award

Photograph: Charles Kuralt.

Charles Kuralt, who in 37 years with CBS News brought a distinctive personal stamp to broadcast journalism with his programs "On the Road" and "Sunday Morning," is the recipient of the 1995 Columbia Journalism Award.

The award, the highest honor of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, will be presented by Dean Joan Konner in ceremonies for the School's graduating class Wednesday, May 17, in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine near the Columbia campus.

Kuralt has reported from the far corners of every state in America and the world for CBS News, which he joined in 1957 as a writer, becoming a news correspondent in 1959 at the age of 24, the youngest journalist ever so designated by CBS News.

In 1960 he became the first host of the CBS News prime time series "Eyewitness." The following year he was named CBS News Latin American Correspondent, based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 1963 he moved to Los Angeles as Chief West Coast Correspondent and then, in 1964, returned to CBS News headquarters in New York.

His travels through the small towns of America in a battered motor home for the continuing feature "On the Road" began soon after that and continued until his retirement in 1994.

He interrupted his journey in 1980 and 1981 to anchor "Morning with Charles Kuralt" weekdays and for 15 years, beginning in 1979, was also the host of the 90-minute "Sunday Morning" program of essays on Americana, the arts and nature.

His work has won him the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award in broadcast journalism, three George Foster Peabody Awards, and 12 Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

He was named "Broadcaster of the Year" in 1983 by the International Radio and Television Society.

Always a writer, he has published six books. His memoir, A Life on the Road, was the number one non-fiction best-seller of 1990. Since his retirement from CBS News, he has traveled for 12 months to a dozen favorite American sites for a book of reflections titled The Perfect Year, to be published in the fall.

Kuralt graduated in 1955 from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where he was editor of the student-owned newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel.

He worked for The Charlotte (N.C.) News after graduation as a reporter and columnist and won the Ernie Pyle Award for newspaper writing.

Previous recipients of the Columbia Journalism Award, first presented in 1971, include Katherine Graham, Tom Wolfe, Helen Thomas, Peter Arnett, Robert C. Maynard, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, David Laventhol and the MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour.

Columbia University Record -- May 17, 1995 -- Vol. 20, No. 29