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Step Out on Nothing: Byron Pitts

Step Out on Nothing: Byron Pitts

December 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs, Breakaway

Anyone who’s watched 60 Minutes correspondent Pitts on television will find it hard to believe that the reporter was once called “functionally illiterate.” Pitts’s story is an inspiring against-the-odds tale, one that begins in inner city Baltimore and ends at CBS’s famous news program. Enduring bullies and humiliation through grade-school, Pitts also struggled with reading, and stuttered until he was 20 years old. Even after scratching his way to Ohio Wesleyan Univ., his freshman literature professor told Pitts he was wasting everyone’s time. Pitts credits his enviable determination to the strong women in his life, including his wise, spiritual mother (whose first question in any situation is always, ‘Did you pray yet?'”), and OWU professor Ulle Lewes (who, Pitts says, not only “changed my life, she saved it”). As an African-American, Pitts had to overcome startling racism in nearly every newsroom he encountered. Pitts shares spare but illuminating stories, such as his encounter with Dan Rather just before departing for Afghanistan; Rather advised him to write letters “to all the people you love most in the world,” just in case.

Byron Pitts was named a contributor to “60 Minutes” and chief national correspondent for “The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” in January 2009. He had been a national correspondent since February 2006.

You can find more information here at his facebook page.

He will be at the Potomac Adventist Book and Health Food Center this Sunday, December 19 at 2 PM. Click here for more information.