When Tom Brokaw stepped down in December as anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, it signaled not just the end of his 21-year stint as the handsomely chiseled face of his network's news division; it also marked the end of an era.
"When I came up in the business, the world was seen through the prism of white middle-aged guys on the Eastern seaboard," Brokaw says. The trusted newsman helped change all that, scoring a string of exclusive interviews with such high-profile world leaders as Mikhail Gorbachev and the Dalai Lama, and reporting directly from the scene in hot spots across the globe. He was the only evening news anchor in Berlin the night the Berlin Wall fell and the first to report from the site of the Oklahoma City bombing.
Now, cut loose from the rigors of a daily program, the newsman says he's eager to get on with his non-TV life. "Walter and Betsy Cronkite are role models for [my wife] Meredith and me," Brokaw says. "The energy they cast across a wide spectrum of interests inspires me." Brokaw's own interests post retirement include a visit to New Zealand and possibly even a new book. "I'm ready to try some new things," he says. "That's what life is all about."
*The name of this award was originally the Impact Award. In 2008, the awards were renamed as the Inspire Awards.