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Chris Wallace

Meet the Press 1987–1988

Christopher Wallace is a television anchor who is the host of the Fox Broadcasting Company/Fox News Channel program Fox News Sunday. Wallace has won three Emmy Awards and the Dupont-Columbia Silver Baton Award. Wallace has been with Fox News since 2003. As a previous moderator of Meet the Press, Wallace is the only person to date to have served as host/moderator of more than one of the major Sunday political talk shows.

Career

Wallace was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of longtime CBS 60 Minutes reporter Mike Wallace and Norma Kaphan. Both his parents were Jewish. His parents divorced when he was one year old. He grew up with his stepfather, future CBS News President Bill Leonard. He did not develop a relationship with his biological father until the age of 14. Leonard gave him early exposure to political journalism, hiring him as an assistant to Walter Cronkite at the 1964 Republican National Convention.

Wallace attended The Hotchkiss School and Harvard College. He first reported news on-air for WHRB, the student radio station at Harvard. He memorably covered the 1969 occupation of University Hall by students and was detained by Cambridge police, using his one phone call to sign off a report from Cambridge City Jail.

Although accepted at Yale Law School, Wallace instead took a job with The Boston Globe. He says he realized he wanted to move to television when he noticed all the reporters at the 1972 political conventions were watching the proceedings on TV instead of in person. For a time in the early 1970s, he worked for Chicago CBS owned-and-operated station WBBM-TV.

Cable Television

Wallace began his network journalism career with NBC in 1975, where he stayed for 14 years, as a reporter with WNBC-TV in New York City. Wallace then transferred to NBC's Washington bureau as a political correspondent for NBC News, and later served as Washington co-anchor for the Today show in 1982. He also served as chief White House correspondent (1982–89), moderator of Meet the Press (1987–88), and anchor of the Sunday edition of NBC Nightly News. Wallace's confrontational style was evident during President Ronald Reagan's news conference in March 1987, when Reagan admitted to dealing arms for hostages. During his questioning, Wallace asked Reagan why he had denied that Israel was involved with the arms sales to Iran "when you knew that wasn't true.

Wallace left NBC in 1989 for ABC. At ABC News, Wallace was the senior correspondent for Primetime Thursday and occasionally hosted Nightline. During the first Gulf War in 1991, he reported from Tel Aviv on the Iraqi Scud missiles attacks. At the time, the Israeli Government did not want to advertise where the Scuds landed, in order to prevent the Iraqis from making adjustments to their launchers. On one episode of Nightline, Wallace started describing the location in Tel Aviv where a Scud missile landed. Nightline host Ted Koppel cut him off, and asked him to point to a general area rather than give a specific location.

After another 14 years at ABC, Wallace left in 2003 to join the Fox News Channel. He has remarked in the past that his work at Fox opened his eyes to what critics cite as bias in the mainstream press. Wallace has stated, "Fox News wouldn't exist if it weren't for this kind of stuff going on in the mainstream media. That's why people are fed up with that and want the antidote to it because they get it and they've gotten it for years – the so-called bias in the objective press. Wallace began hosting Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace in 2003 after replacing Tony Snow and is an occasional guest on the Howie Carr show on Boston's WRKO.

Despite Wallace's blood relationship with his father Mike, his stepfather Bill Leonard had far more of an impact. Wallace stated that Leonard was "the single most important person in my life. Wallace first developed a relationship with his father in his teens, after his older brother Peter died in 1962 climbing a mountain in Greece.

 

Meet the Press Moderators

Martha Rountree

Ned Brooks

Lawrence E. Spivak

Bill Monroe

Roger Mudd

Marvin Kalb

Chris Wallace

Garrick Utley

Tim Russert

Tom Brokaw

David Gregory

F. Chuck Todd

 

 

 

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