A familiar presence on NBC for over 27 years, Pauley is one of the most recognizable newswomen in America today. Pauley, who shared her personal struggles with bipolar disorder in her biography, Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue, was the 2005 recipient of the William Styron Award, which is presented to a public figure who has spoken out about his or her mental health challenges and recovery.
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A familiar presence on NBC for over twenty-seven years, Jane Pauley is one of the most recognizable newswomen in America today. Previously an anchor on the award-winning primetime newsmagazine "Dateline NBC," she began her journalism career in her hometown of Indianapolis in 1972 at WISH-TV. She then went on to WMAQ-TV in Chicago, where at 24 she was the first woman to co-anchor a weeknight news program.
In 1976, Pauley began her 13-year tenure as co-anchor of NBC's "Today," at the age of 25. First teamed with Tom Brokaw and then, beginning in 1982 with Bryant Gumbel, she interviewed thousands of newsmakers. She co-anchored "Today" from locations all over the world, including London for the weddings of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew; Rome, where "Today" televised its audience with Pope John Paul II; and the Great Wall of China. Along with Gumbel, she was named 1986 Broadcaster of the Year by the International Radio and Television Society and Best in the Business by the Washington Journalism Review in 1990. Pauley anchored the Sunday evening newscasts from January 1980 until April 1982, as well as "Real Life with Jane Pauley," which premiered in January 1991. She anchored "Time & Again," the retrospective news program on MSNBC from July 1996-2001, and in 2004, she briefly hosted her talk show, "The Jane Pauley Show." In addition, she has presented several documentaries on NBC, including "Women, Work and Babies," which won a 1985 Humanitas Award.
Pauley has been honored with many awards for her work, including multiple Emmy Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award, the RTNDA's prestigious Paul White Award for her lifetime contribution to electronic journalism, and the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation's Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award. In addition, she was awarded the first national Matrix Award from the Association for Women in Communications, the AWRT's Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Individual, and was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 1998. Pauley has also been the recipient of a Clarion Award, a National Press Foundation Award, a Gabriel Award, a Nancy Susan Reynolds Award, a Maggie Award, a Wilbur Award from the Religious Public Relations Council and a Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. She was named Communicator of the Year by the National Forensic League and was honored with a Living Legend Award by the Indiana Historical Society.
A fellow with the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) and Honorary Chair of the SPJ's Jane Pauley Task Force on Mass Communication Education, Pauley is also a past board member of PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning). She has received honorary degrees from Notre Dame University, Providence College, DePauw University and her alma mater, Indiana University, where she received a bachelor's degree in political science.
In 2001, Pauley spent nearly three weeks in a hospital for treatment of bipolar disorder, which she revealed in her 2004 autobiography, Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue. The illness was triggered by a rare reaction to prescription drugs: steroids being taken for a stubborn case of hives. With later drug therapies, including more steroids and an antidepressant, her moods swings intensified, from sheer exhaustion to boundless energy. She entered New York Hospital in the spring, under an assumed name, during a leave of absence from "Dateline NBC." Today, Pauley's off steroids and free of mood swings, thanks to lithium. Her book also reveals her feelings about landing in one of the most prominent positions in television at the age of 25, family secrets, and her "tangled feelings" about juggling work and motherhood.
Pauley was the 2005 recipient of the William Styron Award, which is presented to a public figure who has spoken out about his or her mental health challenges and recovery.