Legendary NBC News storyteller Bob Dotson, who inspired countless Americans with his long-running signature segment The Today Show: The American Story with Bob Dotson, will deliver a free campus-wide address at Azusa Pacific University, Monday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. in Munson Auditorium. Dotson’s address caps a day in which he will interact with APU journalism students, tour the new Convergent Media Center on West Campus, and meet with its student staff.
Dotson is an eight-time Emmy Award winner who got his first big break at WKY-TV in Oklahoma City in 1970, joined NBC News in 1972 and began crafting iconic feature stories and profiles that focused on the unsung but amazing contributions of everyday Americans. His work became a popular feature on Today, and ran regularly until 2013 when he retired from television. In that year, Dotson wrote the book, American Story: A Lifetime Search for Everyday People Doing Ordinary Things, which became a New York Times bestseller. He will hold a book signing following his evening address in Munson where his book will be on sale.
“Among news veterans, Bob Dotson is revered as a master storyteller who has produced highly memorable work for four decades and who genuinely cares about the people he covers,” said Jim Willis, Ph.D., professor emeritus at APU, who invited Dotson to campus. “Bob got his start at my dad’s television station, and I have followed his work ever since. When I directed the Ball State University Journalism School I was able to get Bob to speak there as a Letterman Lecturer, and he wowed the students with both his content and his delivery. We are extremely fortunate to have him at APU, and our students will learn much about storytelling.”
During his 41-year network career, Dotson filed some 4,000 stories for NBC News, and his social media posts – which he still posts – have been viewed more than 25 million times. Dotson now devotes his time to mentoring younger journalists about telling memorable people-focused stories. He is Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Syracuse University Newhouse School of Journalism, and he lectures worldwide on the craft of storytelling.
In addition to the Emmy Awards he has won, Dotson has won a record six Edward R. Murrow Awards for Best Network News Writing and 12 more for reporting. He has won also DuPont-Columbia Awards for broadcast journalism excellence.
Dotson is a journalism and political science graduate of the University of Kansas and recently was awarded the William Allen White Prize for journalistic excellence from that university. He also holds the Master of Science Degree in television and film from Syracuse University. Dotson and his wife Linda have been married for 46 years, and the couple have one daughter, Amy, who is also a writer. They now live in South Carolina.
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