Disney Legend Diane Sawyer

Diane Sawyer

In a career spanning four decades, Diane has been a trailblazer for women and for journalism. She has been a leader in morning television, prime time magazines, and the ABC flagship broadcast World News. Her final season at World News delivered its most-watched season in six years.

Her work also includes some of the most-watched interviews in prime time—38 million viewers watched the first and only interview with Michael Jackson and his new wife Lisa Marie Presley; 22 million viewers watched her unforgettable interview with Whitney Houston about drug use; 21 million viewers watched her interview with the family of Nicole Brown Simpson, their first and only interview; 14 million viewers watched Jaycee Dugard describe how she survived for 18 years when kidnappers imprisoned her in their backyard; and 24 million people watched the Olympic athlete known to the world as Bruce Jenner reveal that Caitlyn Jenner was always the real person inside.

Diane changed the landscape of what was possible for women.

Her interviews also include American presidents, countless world leaders, and generals on the frontlines as she traveled to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran. Diane has said, “A life in journalism is a wonderful chance to use your curiosity and passion to try to bring more light into the world.”

She also launched the award-winning documentary series called Hidden America—a series of reports on the struggles and hopes of families living in Appalachia; on Native American reservations; of schools where valiant principals and teachers are championing children in America’s most dangerous neighborhoods; and the crisis in the foster care system.

Diane began her journalism career in 1969 doing the weather in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, after earning her BA in English from Wellesley College. She is the daughter of a third grade teacher and a county judge, both from Kentucky. In 1970, she joined the Nixon White House as a press aid. In 1978, she returned to a career in news at CBS.

In 1984, Diane changed the landscape of what was possible for women, becoming the first female correspondent asked to join Mike Wallace and the legendary anchor team at 60 Minutes. In 1989, she was recruited by Disney Legend Roone Arledge to join ABC News as co-anchor of a new magazine hour PrimeTime. In 1999, she was asked to take on a second anchor role at ABC as co-anchor of Good Morning America, where she would stay for a decade. There, she and her co-anchor and friend (and fellow 2019 Disney Legend) Robin Roberts broke another barrier, becoming the first team of women to anchor a major network morning broadcast.

Diane was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1997. She has received multiple Emmy® and Peabody awards, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Investigative Reporters and Editors Association, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the USC Distinguished Achievement in Journalism Award. In 2017, Diane’s interview with Caitlyn Jenner won the GLAAD Outstanding TV Journalism Award and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award. In 2017 and 2019, she helped ABC News win the Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in Television.