Tom Brokaw

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Jason DeCrow / AP

NBC News correspondent Tom Brokaw.

While the two presidential candidates, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, prepare for their second debate on Oct. 7 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tom Brokaw gets to sift through questions submitted by you. In addition to queries from a group randomly selected by the Gallup organization, Brokaw will be fielding questions submitted online at, the site created by the Commission on Presidential Debates and Myspace. The focus of the town hall-style debate will be domestic and foreign policy, Brokaw's specialties.

Personal Life

• Born in Webster, South Dakota, Brokaw is the son of Anthony (a U.S. Army foreman) and Eugenia (a clerk); he is 68

• He paid for college at the University of South Dakota by working for several radio stations, earning a political science degree in 1962

•Married Meredith Lynn Auld August 17, 1962; they have three daughters


• Got his start at the NBC news affiliate KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska as newscaster

• Reported for the network on the civil rights movement as a staffer at WSB-TV in Atlanta.

• Became NBC's White House correspondent in 1971; covered the Watergate scandal, Nixon's resignation and the presidency of Gerald Ford, whom he once famously asked to respond to charges that he, Ford, was not smart enough to be leader of the free world

•In 1976, became the sole host of ABC's Today show, only after the network agreed to drop the requirement for reporters to read commercials

• Anchored NBC Nightly News from 1983 until 2004, when Brian Williams took over

• Wrote a best-selling book, The Greatest Generation, which recounts the lives of Americans who came of age during the Great Depression and World War II

• After the sudden death of Meet the Press host Tim Russert, Brokaw filled his seat; he will stay on through the end of the presidential campaign

Notable Quotes

"Tom always asked good questions at briefings. He always had a good angle on something that everybody else had missed." — Ann Compton of ABC News, in an interview with TV Guide

"One of the advantages of a South Dakota childhood is that there is so little around you intellectually that you reach out for broader sources of material. I was always aware of what was going on in New York, or other power centers." — Brokaw in the Saturday Evening Post, 1978

In response to Charlie Rose asking in 2007 what he is most disappointed about in his life: "I think I'm pretty self-critical, Charlie, and I think I could have worked harder at developing a greater discipline about the skills that I wanted to have. You know, I need to learn to write better."