Bill Whitaker Biography
Bill Whitaker is an American journalist and a 60 Minutes correspondent for CBS News. He was named a 60 Minutes correspondent on March 6, 2014 by Jeff Fager, the executive producer of 60 Minutes and the chairman of CBS News at the time. Fager said at the time: “Bill Whitaker is one of the great veterans of CBS News. He has had a distinguished career covering just about every kind of story all over the world. Bill is a natural fit at 60 Minutes and it’s exciting that he has agreed to join us.”
Whitaker’s 60 Minutes reporting has taken him to Asia, Africa, Europe, Mexico, and the Middle East, including a timely investigation of the vetting process Syrian refugees undergo before coming to the U.S. and an interview with the highest-ranking North Korean official to defect in decades. Domestically, his stories have provided keen insights into the hot-button issue of race and policing in America with his reports from Cleveland, Chicago, and most recently, Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he got the news-making first interview with the city police officer accused of manslaughter for shooting an unarmed black man. His stories have also drawn attention to death penalty issues in the U.S. and America’s heroin epidemic. Whitaker has chronicled the epic battle to capture and hold Mexico’s infamous drug lord Joaquin “el Chapo” Guzman, gaining rare access to investigations on both sides of the border.
Whitaker’s investigation in 2017 with The Washington Post revealed how the DEA’s efforts to curb the opioid epidemic were hampered by a law pushed by drug industry lobbyists. The report was credited with forcing the law’s chief sponsor, a congressman, to withdraw his nomination for the Trump Administration’s drug czar. The next installment told how the biggest opioid case in U.S. history against one of the world’s largest drug distribution companies was settled by the government in a deal that shocked DEA agents. Among the eight awards the reporting won are the DuPont-Columbia University award, the Peabody, an Emmy, and an RTDNA Murrow award.
Before joining 60 Minutes, Whitaker covered virtually all of the major news stories in the West since he was posted to Los Angeles in 1992, reporting regularly for the CBS Evening News and other CBS News broadcasts. He also has worked for Sunday Morning, turning out feature stories and thoughtful profiles, including on Barbra Streisand, Norman Lear and Gladys Knight. One of his most memorable Sunday Morning profiles was of ex-boxer Mike Tyson. He has interviewed First Lady Michelle Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Whitaker frequently reported from overseas as well, covering the funeral of Nelson Mandela from South Africa. He also did pieces from Japan on the Fukushima nuclear disaster and from Haiti after the tragic earthquake there. He reported from Kabul during the early stages of the war in Afghanistan.
In 2008, he covered Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. He was CBS News’ lead reporter on the 2000 presidential campaign of George W. Bush.
Prior to his assignment to Los Angeles, Whitaker served as CBS News’ Tokyo correspondent (1989-92). There, he covered stories throughout Asia, including the pro-democracy uprising in Tiananmen Square, military coup attempts in the Philippines and the enthronement of Japan’s Emperor Akihito. He was in Baghdad for the build-up to Desert Storm.
Before that, Whitaker was based in Atlanta (1985-88), where he won an Emmy for his reports on the collapse of Jim and Tammy Bakker’s television ministry and covered the 1988 presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis. Whitaker joined CBS News as a reporter in November 1984.
Previously, Whitaker was a correspondent for WBTV-TV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte, N.C. He began his broadcast journalism career at KQED-TV in San Francisco, where he was a producer, associate producer and researcher/writer.
Whitaker graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a B.A. degree in American history and from Boston University with a master’s degree in African-American studies. Whitaker also holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1997.
Whitaker has received many awards and honors, including the News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting in a News Magazine from the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, an Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association. He also won an Emmy in 1988 for his coverage of the demise of Jim and Tammy Bakker’s television ministry. In 2018, the Library of American Broadcasting honored Whitaker with the “A Giant of Broadcasting and Electric Arts Award.”
Bill Whitaker Jeopardy!
He is scheduled to guest host the game show Jeopardy!
Bill Whitaker Age
He was born on August 26, 1951, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was raised in Media, Pennsylvania.
Bill Whitaker Wife
Bill Whitaker is married to his wife, Terry Whitaker. When Whitaker landed at “60 Minutes” in 2014, he and his wife, Terry, left Los Angeles after two decades and moved to a modern apartment overlooking Central Park in New York City.
Bill Whitaker Children
He and his wife, Terry, have two children, William and Lesley.
Bill Whitaker Family
He is the son of Marie and William Whitaker.
Bill Whitaker Salary
News analysts, reporters, and journalists in the New York area, where Bill Whitaker is based, earn an average annual salary of $90,160.
Bill Whitaker Net Worth
Bill Whitaker’s net worth is estimated to be $3 million.